Top 8 Leadership Trends for 2019—Part III

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Top 8 Leadership Trends for 2019—Part III

As a continuation of our three-part series on 2019 leadership trends, here are three more trends to watch for this year:

Be a compassionate leader. Regardless of a leader’s gender, there is a human aspect of leadership involving a more compassionate approach that is of value not only to employees, but also has a positive effect on bottom-line performance. Traditionally, companies have operated with leaders employing what was considered to be a more “masculine” leadership style, characterized by top-down mandates and chain-of-command order-giving. While this model worked for some years, it is no longer sustainable or scalable in today’s new environment. 

Successful leaders of both genders have now either recognized—or will soon learn the hard way—that it’s critical to tap into what’s often seen as a more “feminine” side of leadership. This type of compassionate leadership features genderless qualities that anyone can work to develop, such as: 

  • Effective listening
  • Empathy for others
  • Empowering others to take risks
  • Giving employees autonomy to operate, learn, and take the lead 
  • Having humility 

In short, whether male or female, great leaders are constantly alert for ways to honor their people, reward the good work that they do, and celebrate their successes. 

Adopt and promote a growth mindset. Carol Dweck identified the concept of the “growth mindset” to describe the condition of believing we can improve our competencies in certain areas through our own efforts. If we have the opposite mindset—a “fixed mindset”—it means we think that our talent level is innate and unchangeable, leaving no room for growth or improvement. Today’s best leaders understand that with the constant speed of change, they need to be adaptive and flexible, remaining open to learning and growing in order to stay competitive. 

A key to developing a growth mindset is to be inclusive and curious—and encourage others to do the same. Create teams with diverse skills and perspectives that cut across boundaries and functions for optimal collaboration. Tap into diverse lines of thinking to leverage different viewpoints. A growth mindset is also about seeking feedback to evolve as a leader. Ask yourself: what area do I need feedback in that I’m not getting, and who do I need to reach out to in order to receive this feedback? Be on the lookout for feedback “blind spots”— areas in which you weren’t aware of the need to change. It’s that one piece of feedback that can make a huge difference in your leadership impact, and that can be instrumental in your personal and professional growth.

Be a purposeful leader. Another leadership best practice for the New Year is to focus on providing clarity to others, revealing what success looks like for your organization and team. When you are a visionary, inspiring, and purposeful leader, you can help those around you connect to their own purpose and reason for working on your team and in the company. You may be wondering, isn’t it enough to just share the company’s purpose statement with your team? But a corporate purpose statement alone won’t do it. Most organizations today operate in a disruptive environment that breeds change and ambiguity. Purpose for individuals and teams becomes even more important and serves as the North Star to navigate these dynamics.  

To help people understand the “why” behind what they do: 

  • Engage in storytelling to bring purpose to life, sharing personal examples that help illuminate your team’s or company’s purpose.

  • Conduct listening tours: ask employees what they view as the “why,” then use these findings to build a collective vision/purpose statement.

  • Integrate purpose into the company’s cultural DNA via interactions and experiences with customers, employees, and stakeholders.

  • Ensure that people with leadership potential on your teams have the right training to develop skills to inspire, motivate, and create an environment where people feel valued and psychologically safe.  

How do you plan to put these leadership strategies into practice in the New Year? I’d love to hear what’s working and where you feel challenged. Contact us at info@shambaughleadership.comto share your leadership challenges and successes in 2019

Rebecca Shambaugh is a speaker, author, President of SHAMBAUGH and Founder of Women in Leadership and Learning, a global institute for women leaders. Rebecca is a keynote speaker on such timely topics as: Leading in The Era of Data and Digital, Driving Innovation and Creativity Within Teams, and Men and Women as Allies.

To request Rebecca as a speaker or to learn more about SHAMBAUGH’s services and how we can support your leadership talent, contact us at

SHAMBAUGH’s Mission: We’re on a mission to develop high-performing and inclusive leaders who transform workplace cultures so everyone can thrive. Find out more about us at:

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