Four Leadership Trends You Can Put into Practice for 2019

Cheryl Cran

December 13, 2018

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There are four leadership trends you can put into practice for 2019. Research by PwC found that workers want the following elements of a positive workplace:

  • 61% want a soulful work environment
  • 53% want an employer that has multiple locals (multinational or regions)
  • 25% want flex space and multiple use space in their workplace
  • 47% want a collaborative workplace
  • 90% of respondents said that their leaders need to improve their workspace environment

As leaders leading into the future of work, the way to lead people has to go to the next level. Foundational leadership skills are a must, of course, which include communication skills, conflict management skills, decision-making skills, and more.

The future of work is calling for leaders to be on top of the trends that are shaping worker attitudes and work preferences. In addition, leaders need to adapt his or her leadership skills according to the rapid changes in employee's needs. Our trends research in worker attitudes, leadership strategies and technology shifts has found clear patterns impacting the future of leadership.

Research Identified the Four Leadership Trends You Can Put into Practice for 2019:

Trend #1—Rethink the word 'job' and think of work as 'work design'. A major trend is that workers are no longer looking for 'jobs' per se. The notion of finding a nine to five job is going by the wayside. Workers are seeking work that is designed to fit their lifestyle. Take a look at Uber for example—ask any driver, and they choose to drive for Uber because they can decide when they work, how long they work, and how much money they want to make. The future of work is about freedom and leaders need to be thinking about how to create work that fits with a worker's desire for flexible work, creative work, and work that is designed to add value to their lives.

Trend #2—People-first focus versus technology as king. Over the past few years there has been an intense focus on digital transformation, and that trend is going to continue. However, what is changing in 2019 is a shift toward a people-first focus rather than glamorizing the technology. This means that leaders need to re-think digitization from a new perspective. Leaders who spend time on meeting with workers one on one, engaging workers in creative solutions with new technology, and providing resources will win in 2019.

Trend #3—Speed of learning is accelerating. The days of reactive learning are officially over. In 2019 and beyond, leaders need to recommit and practice consistent and daily learning on how to be a better leader. This can include learning more about trends and predictions, as well as design thinking. Leaders who use 'busy' as an excuse for not staying on top of learning will struggle in 2019.

Trend #4—Need for identifying and building talent will increase. In addition to rethinking the term 'jobs,' leaders will need to look at the talent in a new way. Creative solutions are needed to identify potential workers, such as increasing opportunities for remote work. Many organizations are eliminating the need for college degrees for new hires. In the competition for skilled workers, leaders are looking at places that have not been considered before. Finding workers from different industries, cultures, and backgrounds will be a future trend. Leaders will need to invest more time and effort into growing, mentoring, and coaching workers to increase worker abilities.

Want to stay on top of the trends impacting the future of work? Sign up for our white paper here.

Published December 3rd, 2018 on

Cheryl Cran is a future-of-work expert and the founder of, a future-of-work research and consulting firm that helps leaders, teams, and entrepreneurs be future-ready.

She is the author of six books, including her new one due out at the end of 2018 titled
, NextMapping—How Great Leaders Inspire People to Create the Future of Work.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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