Between November and February, pop culture pundits across the country tell us what trends to expect in the coming year in everything from clothing to language. Business is not exempt from these predictions, and articles abound that intend to tell you what to expect from various corporate topics in 2015 – including leadership principles. Leadership, though, is not one of those things that ought to be trendy, chic or fashionable. Leadership is simultaneously too important and too elusive, too scientific and too nebulous to be defined in the same terms that give us bell-bottoms, artisanal oatmeal and selfies.
Instead of talking about leadership’s trendiness, we’ve decided to focus on a few key principles and how they will shine in 2015. Keeping with the topic of culture, we’re going to talk about the various cultures your organization’s leadership should aspire to inspire in the coming year.
A Culture of Lifelong Learning
Employers have encouraged their employees to develop positive learning habits for some time. Continued investment in cost-effective, accessible training is likely to continue, though employers are likely to pay close attention to who is and is not taking advantage of the courses they offer. Employees who not only participate in employer-sponsored courses, but also seek additional, independent training opportunities, are likely to fare better than their less-motivated colleagues.1
A Culture of Courage
People need to feel secure enough that they can make mistakes. George Bradt encourages you to be a BRAVE leader by assessing Behaviors, Relationships, Attitude, Values and the Environment as you approach every business challenge with your team.2
A Culture of Ownership
People can’t help you fulfill the organization’s mission, vision and values if they don’t know what those are. Even if they know what they are, they need to further understand how they can be a part of them, and then be allowed to actively participate in fulfilling those goals. Empowering employees rather than just assigning them tasks makes them active participants in the organization’s destiny and makes them active stakeholders and teammates that really care.3
A Culture of People
A lot of time is often spent on profit, strategy, synergy and technology. But the truth is that none of those things are possible without knowledgeable, successful, driven, engaged human beings generating, developing, implementing and managing. It’s easy to reduce people to numbers or to forget them entirely (and it’s not clear which is worse). If you want great results and success, hire, train, engage and retain the best people.