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Decoding The Leadership Style of the Next Decade

Marut Bhardwaj

Marut Bhardwaj

Marut Bhardwaj is the Country Head of Potential Project, India- a global leadership consulting & professional services firm. She is a leadership development speaker and facilitator transforming the competitive corporate chaos into a more humane world of work, so that the organizations and its employees can all thrive together.


Hybrid remote working cultures are likely to become more prevalent in the foreseeable future. This requires future leaders to stay in sync with the new age of workspace that is going to dominate the coming decade. But, in a new study by the Capgemini Research Institute: “Relearning Leadership: Creating the Hybrid Workplace Leader”, while 69% of leaders believe their organizations have properly managed the transition to remote and hybrid working, only half (49%) of employees believe this to be true. Why?


It’s because times have changed, and today’s leaders face increasingly complex and demanding challenges than before. In an era when the pace of change continues to accelerate, entire industries are being transformed by changes in how people work and interact. As distractions and changes abound, combined with Covid-19 having a strong impact on the workplace, it can be challenging for leaders to keep their organizations on top of developments.


Future leaders will face even greater challenges. Leadership in the next decade will be about striking a balance between the pursuit of profit and the well-being of the organization and its ecosystem. And it will require a sense of compassion.


Compassion is the keyword


The world is full of paradoxes. Despite our dependence on human connections growing ever stronger, we live in a world increasingly dominated by technology, where virtual communication has replaced face-to-face interactions. Is it possible that processes, technology, and robotization are dehumanizing relationships between leaders and employees? A situation like this is inarguably complicated and potentially disastrous.


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Compassion must be the root of how leadership moves forward. Your approach to your employees must be based on this core value and how you structure a safe and inclusive workplace. It also implies that business leaders and employees must prioritize compassion in nearly every aspect of how they perform their duties, their jobs, and communicate with each other while going forward. Ultimately, if a public health crisis like Covid-19 arises again, companies that know how to lead with compassion and fully understand the human elements of their workplace will prosper.


Leadership that understands both the strategic and practical aspects of integrating compassion into the work- culture, has the ability to shape working situations and outcomes. With the coming decade being as uncertain as today, they’ll be able to motivate, engage, and support their partially or wholly distributed personnel with compassion.


To be a successful leader in the coming decade, it is crucial to develop these qualities rooted in compassion:


The ability to embrace ambiguity


A leader of the future will need to be flexible and agile – capable of creating rapid changes, taking risks passionately, pivoting quickly and learning from failures, and then applying those lessons to keep moving forward. We are living in an ambiguous time, and compassion, risk, failure, and experience will be the best teachers. Change the way you see uncertainty. Make sure your self-talk reflects the reality you’re facing by using phrases like, “It’s human nature to worry,” and, “I know I’m not alone with this feeling.”

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Those who break longstanding paradigms, consider ambiguity as a constant, and embrace it as a force to be reckoned with in the new age, will succeed.


Having an appreciation for diversity


The most effective organizations aren’t simply the ones that use their diversity to establish credibility with clients, but also to increase their workforce’s cultural competency. As of today, the goal of any business would be to stay competitive during turbulent times such as Covid-19. This can be accomplished by investing in diversity. To embrace diversity in the workplace with compassion, you must better understand yourself. If you aren’t honest with yourself, you can’t connect and be real with others.


Leadership means turning away from bias and diving headfirst into diversity, equity, and inclusion. Based on a Boston Consulting Group study, companies with more diverse management teams generate 19% more revenue. In times of uncertainty, leaders must find ways to bring people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge together.


Work has gone through its greatest forced evolution in history. Several organizational and leadership challenges lie ahead in the coming years, and they will likely call for significant changes in leadership behaviors and organizational models. Human-centric thinking will be the key to navigating the uncertainty of the next decade. Therefore, to truly lead in the coming time, compassion must become not only a measurable attribute of leadership but also a foundational element of organizational culture. The results can be profound.


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