What leadership trends can we look out for in 2018? A decreased focus on technical skills, an increased attention on curiosity and a customer-centric approach will lead the way in 2018.
Emphasis on Soft Skills
Inc.com writes that with rapid advancements in digitalization, technical skills will, while definitely still relevant, take a back seat to “soft skills.” That means knowing soft skills will be even more critical for frontline managers. Studies show that 47 percent of managers don’t receive any training when they take a new leadership role. This lack of training can be especially detrimental to technical teams because now one of their leading techies just got promoted to management and suddenly their job shifts from expert to leading experts. If communication and delegation skills aren’t in place, there could be a real lack of knowledge transfer. That is why soft skills are such a leadership trend in 2018, in order to combat the emphasis on technical skills.
Increased Attention on Curiosity
Forbes says that curiosity has typically been a leadership trend throughout 2017 and will continue into 2018. The beautiful thing about curiosity is that it cultivates creativity and innovation; it incites opportunity and sparks growth potential. To stay competitive, companies must be willing and able to move out of the complacency of success that defined them today and continually question the status quo so they can create a better tomorrow. Organizational curiosity does just that—it feeds people’s innate and natural desire to know more, and when you know more, you can be more by doing more.
Becoming Truly Customer-Centric
While leaders have been discussing being “customer-centered” or “customer-focused” for a while, 2018 is the year when customers are ready to see proof of that. With immense customer feedback mechanisms and reporting, there is simply no excuse for not adapting to what customers really want today. Customers are no longer loyal to a brand, they’re loyal to experiences that work for them.
There is no one-size fits all when it comes to leadership. However, there are several forecasted trends to look out for in 2018.