Is this the start of a new era with new leaders emerging – those one never have expected?
The last few weeks have seen many senior executives feel strained as they have viewed many forecasts announcing a return to strength in 2022 or a strong recovery; and yet there are red lights flashing danger ahead. What is the truth? What can be expected?
Or is it that there is a new economy emerging which will challenge traditional thinking and beliefs? Are there new answers to be found?
Privately many executives are noting that they expect the next six months to be very challenging and private bemusement that many of their teams do not seem to recognise the dangers signs flashing away. Many have spoken over the last six months of a strong recovery, almost V-shaped in appearance, and yet so many forecasts do not suggest that the economics are sustainable. There are going to be winners and losers over the six months and it could be very fraught.
One of the problems has been that WFH has created new lifestyles, one which many have enjoyed and their perspectives have changed. For many the pandemic has been very challenging and difficult; for others, it has almost been enjoyable, and for others, it has created a new way of looking at work-life balance. It was always going to be very difficult to unravel the newly developed understanding and it is forecast that this alone will be a 3-year journey, to 2024. It just adds to the pressures that many leaders are already feeling.
However, leaders have also noted that the last few months has allowed them to build relationships with many younger talents who have returned to offices. They have noted that this talent is not only bringing fresh energy but also new ideas and thinking. A number of leaders have noted that they have been surprised how much they have learnt by listening to young talents talk about how they view the world, business, leadership and work. It has highlighted a gulf between how many traditional leaders view the world and just how different it is through the eyes of emerging talent.
The world is not as simple as maybe it once was. It is becoming ever more complex with a narrative which brings new definitions and understanding all the time. Solutions will come from looking through a new lens, with the emergence of new ideas, passions and thinking. It is natural therefore that this will come from the emerging generations and the question will be which businesses will listen to new thinking and which will not?
The last decade has seen greater prosperity than ever through the leadership and skill of proven, established leaders. However, it also saw the rise of a number of new social and people issues to a level not seen before. It is natural that new leaders should emerge during this time if they are allowed to.
As forecasts suggest that 45% of teams will return to offices by the end of the year, this also allows for a new generation to potentially emerge. The 1980s saw many great leaders begin their journeys from the difficult days of the late 70s and early 80s. It maybe that history will repeat itself and the 2020s will see a new generation emerge which will provide the energy for positive change.