4 Leadership Trends Managers Should Embrace In 2018


The beginning of the year is a perfect time to review your processes, try new things out, and find what sticks.

As a leader within an organization, the constant need to improve should drive you to try new things that’ll help you be a better manager and member of a team.

We’ve done some research on some of the leadership trends that are taking the workforce by storm in order to help you out at your office. Here are a couple of small things that you can to do be a better leader this year.

Face-To-Face Communication

Fred Dust, CEO of Ideo, argued that face-to-face engagement is a dwindling art. He believes that the way we communicate with each other at work is unproductive, as it’s more talking at each other than with each other.

To make matters worse, we are now taking the easy route when communicating, as we’re opting to use emails, texts, or tools like Slack, to shoot out messages and “talk.” Though easy, it might not be as effective as simply going up to somebody to ask a question, make a request, or even settle a dispute.

The empathy shown when people communicate face-to-face allows people to bond, and the interactions help bring an understanding that people are aiming to reach the same goal.

There are a couple of other things that face-to-face chats help with, like:

  • Putting an end to “Cyber Miscommunication
  • Coming up with solutions faster
  • Enables more creativity between the two people.

Make time this year to chat with your employees, it can be about work, or it can be just getting to know them a bit more, whatever the case, just make sure to start a conversation and talk with them, not at them.

Running Effective Meetings

Unproductive meetings waste more than $37 Billion Per Year and the average employee spends over 4 hours a week just preparing for meetings.

As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that people are getting the most out of their meetings, so do your best to make them informative, brief, and productive for all the people attending.

The best thing you can do to run effective meetings is to set a goal for the meeting and sharing it with the team before the session starts (try to include it on the agenda). This will (hopefully) allow people to understand what the purpose of the meeting is and reach that common goal together.

A couple of other quick tips:

  • Keep meetings short — 30 minutes (maximum)
  • Only invite people that need to be there
  • Have a notetaker
  • Have the notetaker assign action items as you go

There are dozens of other ways to make meetings run better, but find what works for you and your team, and continue to improve on it.

Being More Transparent

There are three things that employees would like to have, job security, career advancement opportunities, and they’d want to work for a company that values transparency.

Transparency is nothing more than the exchange of trust between the employer and the employee, and having a culture of transparency creates more trust throughout the office.

As a leader, being more transparent with employees will enable you to not only have more trust from them, but it’ll help you communicate more efficiently and create a better office environment.

If you aren’t a transparent culture already you may want to do some research on a company like Buffer, who has perfected their transparent culture — So much so that they have a list of every single thing that they do, buy, read, and even their employees’ salary all available on the web.

In a speech given by their co-founder Leo Widrich, he says that a transparent culture not only improved the morale of the office, but people were so engaged and happy that it reflected on the product:
To sum it up, the more information that is spread with employees, the more devoted to the company/person they become. Consider sharing more information and letting employees know that they are an important part of why the company continues to grow.

Raise The Bar, But Embrace Failure

If you’re looking to improve, stop going after small, modest goals and aim to have big, fat, hairy, audacious goals. The value of going after big goals is worth the risk, as they make us stretch what we believe is possible and get us working harder to reach new heights.

Risk-averse organizations tend to go after modest goals and appear to be successful, whereas growth-oriented organization thrive off of having ambitious goals; as it allows them to find new, innovative ways to grow and learn.

The only trade-off: you’ll have to deal with the fact that you’re probably going to fail at hitting the goals you set.

So embrace the fact that you’re probably going to fail, and utilize an OKR/KPI system that will set the framework for hitting the goal. Then at the end of every quarter aim to have a retrospective meeting that’ll help you figure out how can things be improved moving forward and adapt accordingly.

Any Leadership Trends or Traits That We Missed?

Are you looking to be a better manager, leader, person, all the above? Leave us some of suggestions to becoming a better manager in the comment section below.

Would also recommend that you start the new year off right by downloading our e-book “Your First 50 Days,” as it highlights some of the things that you can do to improve as a manager. The best part is it’s absolutely free. Check it out by clicking here