The situation may be despicable but surmountable. For organisations to win in these times characterised by severe socio-economic crises, they need strategic leadership. Join a community of people who recognize the importance of leadership development, The Top 6 Leadership Challenges Around the World, © COPYRIGHT 2021, CENTER FOR CREATIVE LEADERSHIP. But it can also bring out the best in great leaders. Recession. But you are a person and the people you lead are people too. It’s tough to stay focused. But sometimes there’s just too much to do. It is not a rank.” —Simon Sinek, 90% of strategic plans fail to meet expectations, Great leaders are humble, hungry and smart. It can cripple your ability to inspire, motivate and serve your team. But that’s a trap. Leadership challenges are mostly related to office politics, social and cognitive factors in influencing people. In closing, for those who work in training and development, knowing the top challenges that leaders face around the world can be the catalyst for creating developmental initiatives that truly help leaders. Among the most common personal traits that good leaders have to … And how do you get better at making decisions? The fear, the self-doubt, the cascade of problems and expectations that leaders often face—it can all add up to a level of stress that puts your ability to lead in danger. The Challenges of Leadership Desire, determination, effectiveness, passion, management skills, being able to inspire, positive attitude, knowing who you are, what to do or not; these are all characteristics of a leader. That can feel uncomfortable. Whereas humility is all about knowing you’re not the center of the universe, self-confidence means understanding that you bring value to that universe. But that’s exactly what your people need to see from you when the going gets tough. Specific leadership challenges include how to instill pride, how to provide support, how to lead a big team, and what to do when taking over a new team. As a leader, 80% of your impact comes from 20% of what you do. It’s you. Setting a high bar for them to clear, but assuring them that you know they can do it and giving the direction and support to believe it. Take action. Teams look to their leaders as a beacon in difficult circumstances. All the fears, stresses and worries you face as a leader. Managing the needs of the multigenerational workforce. Even if you’re not your best or most enthusiastic self. Leadership—true leadership based on honesty, authenticity and meaningful relationships—takes guts. What’s most challenging about leading organizations today? So, we suggest that a majority of development content be the same, no matter where the training is taking place or who is going through the training. Handling conflicts requires dispute resolution … Be proactive in setting goals, as well as establishing the timelines — and deadlines — necessary to keep yourself and your teams on track. It requires the people, particularly the emerging new leaders, to summon the political will to wade through the tide. To take “staying positive” a step too far. It’s easy to dwell on what isn’t working and let it sap your energy. That’s good advice. “Leadership is a choice. You can easily get sucked into dealing with urgent issues that arise unexpectedly rather than staying focused on producing the outcomes that matter most to your organization. Fear of the changes that are bound to happen, how you’ll handle them and how your team will react. Where are we going? Actually, it’s related in a way to the challenge of avoiding burnout. It’s not the path of least resistance, by any means. The drama that spills over when under-the-table agendas that drive so many unhealthy behaviors in our organizations meet each other in battle. Finally, the elephant in the room. Here are 4 concrete things that leaders around the globe can do to help address these common leadership challenges: Be proactive in setting goals, as well as establishing the timelines — and deadlines — necessary to keep yourself and your teams on track. One time-honored approach is the SMART method. Don’t focus on just doing more. Transformational leadership blends the behavioral theories with a little dab of trait theories. It’s powerful because it starts at the very heart of who you are and why you do what you do. Mistakes happen. For the leader, that means facing the challenges that come along with change in our organizations. The distractions that you face can make it easy to lose sight of long-term and even short-term goals. When you’re not feeling very inspired yourself, or you’re unsure how things are going to turn out. Developmental initiatives are more effective when they align with real challenges that participants are facing. Here’s the basic framework: When you’re facing leadership challenges, it can be easy to become reactive. So what can a leader do to nurture this skill? Be real. Every day, the people you lead are asking, “Why?” What’s the vision? Partner with us to craft a leadership development solution that develops the critical leadership skills and competencies that are right for your organization’s unique context and culture. They push too hard, never rest, and wear insane hours as a red-eyed badge of courage. You’re human. But the most effective managers understand that they will largely be judged based on how effective they are at their core responsibilities and how they can overcome leadership challenges. By focusing on these 4 key behaviors, you can beat back those feelings and provide more value to your organization as you take on the most pressing leadership challenges. The next tip to overcome challenges in leadership is to encourage open communication among team members. The challenge of leadership is the responsibility that comes with it. Some take more work than others. The distractions that you face can make it easy to lose sight of long-term and even short-term goals. Reassuring teams when things are uncertain and bringing people along for the ride when they’re resistant to change. The fear will have no choice but to get in the back seat. You’re hearing accolades. It means having an accurate picture of yourself. Sometimes it means being “the bad guy.” All the risks and “what ifs” that can stop you in your tracks—from economic changes or market shifts, to the specter of job cuts or restructuring, to global crises. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about leadership challenges. It’s not only internal challenges you face as a leader. Arranging the chessboard. We’ve boiled it down to three. 10. The fear of making the wrong decision. There will always be more things competing for your attention than you have time and energy to do. Clarify your vision. Many of the most common leadership challenges arise when leaders are either unaware of common pitfalls, or are inattentive to developing problems. We found that leaders around the globe consistently face the same 6 challenges — even if they describe their leadership challenges and specific context in different ways. So that’s where we need to start, with the internal leadership challenges we’re all likely to face. A champion of forward momentum, enthusiasm and the “get it done” attitude. The best leaders are humble leaders. You’ll be more productive tackling leadership challenges, and you’ll empower your colleagues to take more ownership if you delegate. Determining future workforce needs. But even harder can be the idea of living with the decisions you’ve made. 13. But conflict can be incredibly healthy for an organization that’s willing to grow out of it. How do you get everyone rowing the same direction, rather than following their own agendas? But you’ve got to make the decision—often with very little time to think through all the eventualities. Taken together, all the demands of managing resources well can present a deep challenge for you as a leader. That maybe, just maybe, it’s you who deserves the credit for your organization’s greatest accomplishments. A leader needs to know what his team members are up to but yes there is a difference between knowing and interfering. Yet it seems that, overall, these 6 challenges are inherent for leaders in the role of middle or senior manager, regardless of the context. And it’s true. Not micromanaging. Prioritize by focusing on doing the most important tasks that only you can do. The obvious answer would be the absence of fear. Any room. More often, it’s not. The Challenges of 21st Century Leadership. A natural disaster. It’s a real challenge. Transactional leaders, such as those identified in contingency … Leadership: Addressing the challenges of a Recession. And that can be especially tough for a leader to work through, because everyone’s looking to you to be a cheerleader. It means working more diligently to rally the team, find the lessons you can learn from adversity, and celebrate your wins. The Leadership Challenge is a suite of books, training products and assessments based on the book written by James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, published by Wiley. Yes, there’s a lot to get done. We can help you and your organization overcome the most common leadership challenges. But here’s the secret … no matter who we are, how much authority we have, what position we’re in, deep down inside every one of us is really a scared little kid. But if you give yourself a clear framework for how you make decisions, in good times and in tough times, you’ll be able to handle challenges from a position of clarity and choice. It’s hard to do, which is why many leaders prefer to project invulnerability. Sometimes leadership means having to deliver the bad news about what went wrong or what needs to change. Not much can get in the way of leading well, making good decisions and moving your organization forward like fear. 6. Many of us will likely say we’re not fearful. If you’re not able to ask for help, it can be a major hurdle to effective leadership. And it gives you a recipe for dealing with challenges in a way that’s consistent with your values, purpose and goals—as a person and as an organization. We see a lot of this working with high-performing leaders in all kinds of industries. There’s always an easy way out. Maybe things are going great. Then tell them to be quiet so you can get to work. Some decisions you can easily walk back if you need to. At InitiativeOne, we teach a Decision Frame that provides clear guidance for even your toughest decisions. Bad news can be dramatic—it’s your job to deliver it and manage it in a way that stifles drama before it contaminates your culture. When setting a goal, make sure it’s: Just be sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes when goal-setting. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the … That means paying attention, listening actively and making a genuine effort to help your team value their own strengths, find fulfillment and grow toward their potential. Follow the Pareto principle. The problem is, when we don’t assess our efforts in that way, we often end up spending far too much time on the tasks, projects or decisions that simply won’t have the impact to solve our leadership challenges. Maybe there’s real danger to the organization, and you’d rather insulate your team from it. That distinction in and of itself could have been another leadership challenge. In a specific, “I see what you did in this moment and sincerely appreciate the great work” sort of way. They know that leadership is about influence and impact, not authority. One of the great challenges of tomorrow is to train leaders who can build up trust and show empathy toward others, inside and outside their own organization. We’re courageous leaders, willing to take on anything. Sometimes, we may find ourselves unfulfilled in our leadership. You have internal leadership challenges. More on that later. Effective delegation requires more than just getting a task off your desk — it involves a repeating cycle of 4 key steps: You’ll build more trust on your team if you delegate more, as well. The better you are at making decisions, the better you can overcome the leadership challenges you’ll face. Use your purpose, vision and values to guide your decision-making. Things don’t always go as planned. Author Robert C Myrtle 1 Affiliation 1 Author Affiliation: Health Services Administration, Public Administration, Sol School of Public Policy, Los Angeles, CA. Every day, leadership challenges are going to come for you. Managing. It’s about quieting the internal voice that tells you you’re failing, you’re not good enough, you’re a fraud.   Great leaders take the challenge to be vulnerable, own it and live it. Maybe even more. That’s a cliché these days, but a long time ago it was profound philosophy. That’s known as imposter syndrome, and it can be a particularly painful challenge for many leaders, because it creates so much self-doubt. And it’s almost never the right choice. There are several external challenges as well in leadership. Fear-based leadership isn’t leadership at all—it’s where bad decisions happen. As difficult as it can be to admit, being human—and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to be seen as human—can be one of the greatest examples you set for your team. Make a plan. So it can be an incredible challenge to stay calm—let alone model and encourage calm for all those in your care—when it feels like the wheels are falling off. You are sadly mistaken if you feel that your job as a team manager is to sit in your closed cabin and sleep. And when there’s faulty communication, people will fill in the gaps with their own assumptions. It takes vigilance against placing blame or finger-pointing. Inspiring Others: the challenge of inspiring or motivating others to ensure they’re satisfied with their jobs and working smarter. Our researchers conducted a study on this, going straight to the source to answer these questions about leadership challenges, gathering input from 763 middle- and executive-level leaders in organizations from China/Hong Kong, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Spain, and the United States. Thus, these 6 top challenges should be core focus areas for managerial development, everywhere in the world, and in all organizations. Speaking of bad news.… Sometimes the biggest challenges come when the unexpected happens. Individuals can benefit from knowing their experiences aren’t isolated, and can feel more confident reaching out to others for help facing these challenges. From all sides, around every corner, even from within. Which is why it isn’t surprising that one leadership challenge you might face is having a tough time following through on the plans, ideas and strategies you put in place. The decision may turn out to be a bad call. Leaders are busy. When you do it right, delegating isn’t about simply “handing things off” or “clearing your plate.” It’s about empowering others to do the work you’ve brought them on board to do. Guiding change includes knowing how to mitigate consequences, overcome resistance to change, and deal with employees’ reactions to change. Fear is a basic human instinct, and no leader is immune to it. If an organisation is to grow, it needs the right people and the right leadership. But far and away the best way to lead through a crisis is to prioritize clarity over comfort. It’s your job as a leader to make sure your people know that you appreciate them. And the more you succeed, the more you’re likely to wrestle with those feelings that you’re not really who people think you are. 12. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sign up for our email newsletters. Take the bull by the horns. This is more important in today’s context of work, where organizations are encouraging leaders to pursue and participate in … Delegating is easy. Lack of support from senior leadership. Blah days. But your team needs to see hope. Fear isn’t unhealthy until you let it run the show. And it takes continuous attention and communication to make it happen. People are people—we’re emotional beings with highs and lows. But making the effort to shoot straight with your team, even if it’s not easy to hear, can only strengthen your organization. The Concept of Leadership and Political Leadership Former Heads State and Presidents in Nigeria Or the healthy side of conflict, when what needs to be said finally gets said—even if it’s no less painful. Overview. That means you need to find that 20% that’s going to make the majority of the impact and put those efforts at the very top of your list. It can be just as challenging to keep your team motivated. As a leader, it goes with the territory to keep your team focused on that purpose. It can be a challenge to stay humble as a leader, but it’s an essential leadership quality that’s worth fighting for. That’s where your amygdala—part of the limbic system, where we process emotions—goes on red alert in the face of danger, whether it’s physical or psychological. Leadership isn’t easy. Some gut-wrenching. Everything on your plate. From all sides, around every corner, even from within. Change is the only constant. ​. And you’ll be able to proactively deal with leadership challenges because you’ve already determined how you’ll approach them. You lose motivation, then your will to lead fizzles out entirely. They need to see a leader who stays levelheaded during a crisis. That’s a leader who alienates their team, causes conflict and incites drama. But your team is looking to you to lead, guide and inspire. Despite the fact the countries are slowly recovering from recent financial crisis, CEOs across the globe still feel that financial environment is far from stable or comfortable. Your people understand that, and they need to see it. Because vulnerability is about authenticity. Attracting top Talent. As hard as it can be, you need to model the positivity they’re looking for. Practicing saying no and finding ways to do so with tact and professionalism are important. Leading a Team: the challenge of team-building, team development, and team management. That’s why it can be so valuable for leaders to learn more about how they react to stress, understand their behaviors, and better avoid the pitfalls to leadership that happen when anxiety goes unchecked. We can become angry and fall back on defensiveness—it’s the old fight-or-flight response that can effectively turn off our rational brain. Understand what the core responsibilities are for your role, and what are secondary responsibilities, or even work that belongs to someone else. It’s a chance to learn about yourself, improve your skills and strengthen the emotional intelligence that’s so critical to effective leadership. It has always been a tough challenge to find strong business leaders offering a unique combination of personality and skill … It’s tempting to try to be the superhero, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not stepping back to fill your own well, how can you lead and inspire others? Acknowledging the attitudes and tendencies that get in your way, and working to overcome them, is absolutely necessary if you’re to become an effective leader. Every time you gather a group of people and they bring their different backgrounds, experiences and feelings to the table, it’s a challenge to get them all moving in the same direction. One of the greatest challenges of leadership is facing your own personal issues, and making sure they don’t prevent you from exercising leadership. It’s the leader’s job to stare those tough decisions down. And it’s up to the leader to inspire and motivate their team through all of those times. Coaches are known to inspire and guide their teams to create greater … To that purpose, it will be necessary to show respect to others, as well as empathy and the defense of those ideals which have previously achieved group identi… Because we act differently in times of stress. -, Work-Life Conflicts Are Hurting Your Business, Disruptive Trends Report: Talent Reimagined 2020, avoid these 3 common mistakes when goal-setting, build more trust on your team if you delegate, understanding your personal leadership brand, communicating messages effectively is a critical skill for leaders, the core leadership skills you need in every role, Emerging Trends Report: Talent Reimagined (2019), 10 Leadership Resolutions for a Successful New Year, Leading in a Crisis: From Survival to Strategic Pivot, Evaluation Mindset: A Quality of Good Leadership, 6 Things Every Global Leader Needs to Remember, 5 Key Themes for High-Achieving Women Leaders, When She Leads: Teaching Teens to Code, and Beyond. The challenge for the leader is to provide consistency and clarity through it all. To just put out fires as you see them. Those are the times when we most need to step up as leaders. Capacity. All of it takes time and commitment. All of that wrapped up into a bundle of challenges that can tie the leader into knots if you let it. But taking on so much that you’re unable to finish what you started has hamstrung the effectiveness of many leaders before you. Take action. Share. You have to start by understanding your own attitudes and beliefs, distilling them into a clear purpose for yourself and your organization, and making that the measuring stick for your decision-making. If there’s one thing we can count on, especially in this day and age, it’s that things will always change. Exhibiting leadership in tough times takes an extra measure of patience and empathy. Empathy is important, but so is clarity and understanding. 3. Physics tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. ​. Some leadership challenges come down to the variety of skills it takes to lead effectively. Great leaders can make those difficult decisions … and sleep through the night afterwards. 9. But the opposite of fear isn’t courage … it’s action. We all need to know we matter. Developing Employees: the challenge of developing others, including mentoring and coaching. It is messy on the most part. Distractions, emergencies and new opportunities pull you in a lot of different directions. When you’re in a position of leadership, it can be easy to start believing your own press. Base it on your decision frame. And there are certainly times when taking on additional duties may be required due to unusual circumstances, or might be important for your own professional development. Being willing to show your humanity. Perhaps being vulnerable even encompasses all of the internal challenges we’ve talked about so far. A failed product launch, catastrophic mistake or a losing season. That’s when our old friend the amygdala takes a little too much control and rational thought goes out the window. It’s critical for the success of your organization to have alignment with a common vision, purpose and understanding of what it means to win. There’s nothing wrong with that, really. But there’s a good chance the toughest decisions come with no takebacks. Handling Conflicts And Managing Internal Politics. All skills can be learned, honed and improved. What you can do is recognize it, own it and deal with it effectively. And they reap the rewards of a team that respects their character and willingly works alongside them to reach a common goal. Leadership is full of tough decisions. Sometimes change is predictable. On the other hand, you are not a machine. It translates into leadership, too. It’s natural. But most often, it’s our own thoughts, feelings and ways of reacting to situations that can create some of the biggest hurdles in leadership. It’s the daily pressures of good decision-making as a steward of your organization’s resources. None of which is healthy for an organization. So much can get skipped, jumbled or misinterpreted. A shortage … Yes, there are plenty of external forces that can throw obstacles in your path. Can you? Common contemporary leadership challenges (with examples) 1.1 Leadership definition and concept of effective leadership Vroom and Jago (2007, p.18) define the term leadership as “a process of motivating people to work together collaboratively to accomplish great things”. You make your bed, you lie in it. Understanding how things are going to be different, planning for it and accounting for the fallout. The more you spend your time and energy helping your team grow and develop their skills, the harder it can be to intentionally develop your own. Think of everything that needs to get done. Not false hope or foolish optimism—but it’s never hurt anyone to find the opportunities in challenges or the light in dark times. It can be simpler to turn off the person part of you and just deal with the challenges you’re facing as rationally and methodically as possible. It’s up to you as the leader to steer conflict toward productive resolution. And don’t forget about delegation. Africa may remain a ‘toddler’ in the comity of nations unless the people rise up to the leadership challenge facing the continent. To inspire them with a shared vision and encourage them as you accomplish your goals together. And tough decisions aren’t too different. But every challenge is an opportunity. Organizations today place multiple demands on leaders, requiring them to impart vision, initiate change, and make difficult decisions. That’s where you need to take stock and set some priorities. 4. Knowing that these leadership challenges are common experiences for middle and senior managers is helpful, both to the leaders and to those charged with their development, according to our researchers. There’s a lot there, but the Pareto principle tells us that only what’s in the 1 and 2 spots will really make the majority of the impact. Engaging in honest conversations with your team. So, it’s essential to be aware of cultural nuances and make adjustments as needed. Turning down work that’s not part of your role helps keep you focused, and communicating messages effectively is a critical skill for leaders. But the anxiety these leadership challenges create can itself be a significant challenge to your leadership. We also recognize that what’s accepted in one culture may be unacceptable or taboo in another, and some behaviors may be the norm in one country but different in another. While no leader can completely avoid surprises, goal setting provides a map that you can return to time and again to refocus on your top priorities while handling other leadership challenges. And it’s most definitely part of business. Of course you can. Transformational leadership. These are (1) the vision challenge, (2) the alignment challenge, (3) the empowerment challenge, (4) the motivational challenge, and (5) the learning challenge. When self-doubt says you are not enough, self-confidence says, “I am enough.”. Sometimes just the expectation of you to be the chief motivating officer can be one of the most demotivating factors you deal with. Get clear on your purpose. 8. This also means that there will be times when you’ll have to say no. They over and over again arise in periods of change or instability, like when a program or period of work is commencing or ending, when a group or … Conflict is part of life. Another important part of the equation of developing and mentoring employees is giving recognition. Delegating well is not. And they’re the pressure-cooker moments that expose just how hard effective leadership can be. Being a leader can be tough, it can also be really rewarding. There will be consequences. Apr/Jun 2018;37(2):158-163. doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000215. They come in three categories: external (from people and situations); internal (from within the leader herself); and stemming from the circumstance of being a leader. But with leaders around the world having the same basic challenges, those designing training can more appropriately align developmental initiatives to help managers solve problems in these 6 common areas: developing managerial effectiveness, inspiring others, developing employees, leading a team, guiding change, and managing internal stakeholders and politics. Difficult decisions … and sleep and clarity through it all these 3 common when... 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