Meet the New Boss: A Leadership Primer for 2022
Leadership StrategiesLeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryInnovation, Research, and DevelopmentDevelopment and Transition
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September 12, 2017
Leadership StrategiesLeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryInnovation, Research, and DevelopmentDevelopment and Transition
In today’s challenging times for corporations, the C-Suite is starting to look very different.
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CEO India

The CEO India article, “Meet the New Boss: A Leadership Primer for 2022,” authored by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Sachin Rajan looked at how different the C-suite may look in 2022. The piece also looked at how to assess if today’s leaders are future-ready. The article is excerpted below. 

The corner office is anything but stable – increasingly rare is the elder statesman who spent a long successful career at this one company. This era is rampant with multi-tasking, job hopping talent; millennials, either launching companies or “arriving” at companies with soaring expectations that infrequently match capability. Amidst all this there is pressure to disrupt, or be disrupted. 

Russell Reynolds partnered with Trendera late last year to take a closer look at this. Could we identify the forces (dark and positive) that will shape commerce and industry in say 2022? And if we could, what would these imply in terms of how different the C-Suite would start to look?  What new skills will the CEO and CXO add to their repertoire?  Approximately 50 conversations with top leaders across the globe later, here is what our crystal ball threw up. 

First off, a look at some of the top trends, or forces that are driving change… 

Functional Expertise: the “C” Level continues to rise

Functional experts are likely to seriously break out of silos and take on more strategic roles. No longer condemned to niches, these specialists will demand and establish clear roles in the value creation process. The “ask” of these individuals too will soar. With technology getting embedded in finance, predictive analytics being used in hiring – the CFO and CHRO in 2022 will start to need a spectrum of new skills. 

Technology Shifts: from jargon to fluency

Perhaps the most obvious – today terms like “big data” an “artificial intelligence” are a staple ingredient in every discussion around strategy; going forward though, this data fluency will more universally translate into actionable insights. Employees will be much more comfortable making data and AI driven decisions. Digital relationships too will evolve - with the penetration of business transactions into the all-pervasive tablets, phone, computers, there will be growing pursuit of an equilibrium. Leaving devices outside of meetings, digitals break and the more radical digital detox interventions, will lead to a more balanced interaction on this front. 

Egalitarianism at work: Consensus and Accountability

Younger employees increasingly see leadership as not necessarily worth striving for – preferring models that share or rotate leadership. This will have significant implications to organization and leadership structures, as well as overall accountability and how team performance is managed. 

Work Environments: from Diversity to Authenticity

With the acceptance shifting from acceptance of “minorities” to a celebration of diversity, workplaces will require to become places where all employees feel they “belong”. Future organization will harness the collective force of individuals being their authentic selves at work, included and celebrated. 

A bright future: Less and less certain

An increasing number of people can no longer envisage what a positive future looks like. Hearteningly, this manifests less as pessimism, but more as a propensity for employees to start thinking in shorter cycles, and most certainly not in terms of the traditional “journey to retirement”. Right or wrong, this will have a sweeping impact in terms of how employees manage their relationships with institutions like their employer, society, government, and indeed personal institutions like home ownership and even marriage. 

The Manifestation of the 2022 C-suite  

There is little doubt that tomorrow's CEO and CXOs will need to be more agile, smarter and adaptable. Here are 5 specific characteristics that we are likely to manifest in the 2022 C-Suite: 

The Boss as the Parent 

From a long past culture where managers were "feared", leaders will place employee happiness and wellness front and centre, enabling them to be maximally productive. A compassionate leadership style will demand capability and contribution, but also continually test for the emotionally, and in future, possibly spiritual, temperature of the team. How to balance this, while still fostering independence and resilience, will call for a different order of leadership. 

This new leader will also learnt to preserve the more egalitarian approach of younger employees, while driving accountability. 

To read the full article, click here.