We have been operating in an uncertain and complex world for some time now, but never on a scale as big as 2020. We’ve seen massive change, social unrest, economic insecurity, and pervasive uncertainty. The work world has been transformed, blurring the lines between work and home, and forcing us to adapt and think differently.
No one was prepared for this. It’s been hard and it has been insightful. Yet, this is where we find ourselves. And nobody knows what’s next.
If ever there was a time for leaders to show up and navigate their teams and organizations through this blended, distributed and tumultuous reality, this is it.
If ever there was a time for leaders to be inspiring, understanding, curious and human-first, this is it.
If ever there was an imperative to invest in equipping leaders to forge their teams, fuel positive cultures, and deliver extraordinary results in this new landscape, this is it.
And to achieve this and ensure organizations thrive, leaders must become fluent in a new leadership language that embraces this future, and empowers them to lead like never before.
As we bring our new company Fluency Leadership to life, we’ve used this context as our rallying cry. We feel we have a once-in-a-career opportunity to bring together our learnings, insights and perspective into a model and framework for the future...a future that provides so many great opportunities, but also comes with a persistent presence of uncertainty.
The New Language of Leadership is built upon five core fluencies that future-ready, human-centric leaders need to embrace and learn. As a connected framework, they can become the essential toolset for the evolved leader who is comfortable in the uncomfortable, curious rather than commanding, willing to shape and shift with the ever-changing context, and understands the value of being authentically human.
Hands down, coaching is the leadership superpower for the next generation of leaders. It is the most important multi-generational, multi-purpose ability that workplaces and cultures need and want, today and in the future. The Coaching Mindset comes with natural curiosity, no judgement, and the ability to ask powerful questions and listen deeply. It’s a mindset that forever changes the way leaders see the world and how they show up in the workplace. In a shape-shifting, decentralized world in which leaders will be challenged more than ever, the fundamental capabilities of the coaching stance and model will be a groundbreaking leadership skill. With a Coaching Mindset, leaders can unlock learning, capacity and resilience within their teams, creating cultures that thrive and grow, and developing future leaders.
In an uncertain world, leaders are going to have to find clarity in the context of continued and growing uncertainty. The world of certainty that we used to know has left us...forever. Futurist Bob Johansen declared in 2017 that, “the future will reward clarity, but punish certainty.” Years later, this statement rings especially true and profound. Leaders will have to lean into their existing strengths, grow new strengths, and operate with a higher sense of clarity to navigate the uncertain and tumultuous future.
Being a high-performing leader has always required skills and commitment to communication. In the current context of work, communication has become paramount in leading teams through volatile and uncertain conditions. Leaders must communicate well, communicate often, and demonstrate leadership presence at all times across all mediums. In a distributed world, leaders must be skilled and constantly investing in communication to engage their teams, provide context to change, and instill confidence. To do that, they need to cultivate presence and be present.
The world has shown us its increasing propensity for the unpredictable. Today, leaders need to recognize that while they have control over their decisions, they can’t always control outcomes. As we look to the future, leaders need to embrace adaptability as a pillar of how they show up, in all contexts and at all times. Leaders will inevitably fail when they are too rigid, too declarative, and too set on predetermined outcomes that they narrate inside their own heads. In addition, all leaders need to have heightened levels of self-awareness, be willing to change and demonstrate professional pliability like never before.
Leaders need to show up with unmatched levels of empathy and compassion. Understanding where their teams are at, what makes their people tick, and the challenges facing people are now table stakes to leading remotely in a distributed and disrupted world. The ability to be intuitive, ask powerful questions, and deeply connect with people by seeing things through the eyes and emotions of others are the emergent and often challenging skills that leaders need to nurture and grow. This is the time to tap into our humanity, vulnerability and humanity as leaders.
As leaders, now is our time...our time to challenge, our time to reflect, and our time to learn.
We leave you with these coaching questions to take away to propel you forward:
How prepared are you and your teams to learn and lead in this uncertain world?
What’s holding you back from stepping into this future?
What would it change for you to have confidence and clarity to lead in this new world?
Fluency delivers The New Language of Leadership as a multi-component leadership program that is interactive and transformative. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Co-Founder of Fluency Leadership
Catherine is a career communicator, entrepreneur and speaker who brings 25+ years communications and leadership experience in a range of industries. Learn more about Catherine at fluencyleadership.com.
Co-Founder of Fluency Leadership
Colin is an action-driven, people-focused marketing and communications leader and coach/facilitator who has worked across a full spectrum of industries. Learn more about Colin at fluencyleadership.com.
As a leadership + team development and coaching company, Fluency builds future-ready, human-centric leaders who forge high performing teams, fuel positive cultures, and deliver extraordinary results.