Today’s world of work is becoming more and more complex to understand. As observers and actors of the workplace in the Human Age — a new era in which talent overtakes capital as a key economic differentiator — we’re seeing major world of work trends impacting organizations across the globe: greater individual choice, the rise of customer sophistication, shifting demographics and the ongoing technological revolution shaping the workplace with an impact that is increasingly apparent. Living in an age of certain uncertainty means that leaders must prepare differently to thrive in volatile, rapidly changing markets.
Furthermore, it’s not only the uncertainty of our current environment, but our inability to predict the future that leaves leaders feeling unprepared. Recall recent moments in history that caught leaders off guard. When faced with plummeting oil prices, energy industry leaders were challenged to redefine how to lead their organizations in time of turmoil. When faced with a global recession, banking industry leaders were faced with a new set of leadership challenges. Who can tell what the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union will be on business all over the world?
The fact is, leaders don’t know what’s around the corner. That’s why in 40% of companies, leaders say they’re unprepared to meet the business issues they will face over the next three to five years.
Understanding this problem and the inherent need for businesses to revisit their leadership certainties to adapt to the times, Right Management developed a point of view on effective leadership and designed the P3 Leader Model (People: Purpose: Performance). After an in-depth look at leadership articles from academics and business, surveys from leaders and qualitative interviews, we began to develop our model with the end in mind: effective leadership outcomes, or in other words what should effective leaders deliver?
Effective leadership in the Human Age is much more than just financial outcomes. Of course, positive financial metrics are a result of effective leadership, but only if talent-focused outcomes are present as well. Talent is the most valuable asset in business today and leadership metrics must expand to recognize this new reality. We believe leaders must ensure that their employees are highly engaged, understand the link between their daily work and the broader picture, and most of all, employees must feel that they have the tools and support to have meaningful careers. If a leader is not meeting each of these outcomes, he or she should not be considered an effective leader, and will not achieve the Business Outcomes needed to win in the Human Age.
How do leaders prepare to deliver these outcomes? By developing three Coachable Capabilities: accelerating performance, unleashing talent, and daring to lead. Organizations must nurture these three different, yet complementary capabilities in leaders by focusing their development budgets and resources on the areas most likely to provide the greatest return in organizational performance.
Finally, we felt strongly that part of our model should also focus on the personality traits of the individual, as we believe our personality is also at play when we lead an organization. So when looking to fill their leadership pipeline, organizations should also assess individuals for Inherent Enablers. These innate personality traits — adaptability, drive, endurance and brightness — help to predict those individuals with the greatest potential to thrive in leadership roles, given the appropriate development and support but also help all leaders reflect on how they compensate what may not be a natural strength. By following this approach, businesses are spending their leadership budgets on the individuals most likely to succeed as effective leaders.
The P3 Leader Model is more than a point-of-view on leadership. It’s a resource to help organizations focus their people and talent development initiatives. With the “certain uncertainty” of the future, organizations must act now to ensure their leadership pipeline is prepared to face the business challenges of the Human Age.