Leadership is a dynamic concept that is constantly evolving with time. In the podcast by Beyond the Sky “You in 2042: The Future of Work”, Danielle Wallace interviews D Surman, a global leader, on her thoughts on the future of leadership. In this interview, Surman shares her insights on what leadership may look like in the year 2042 and how learning and development can help organizations prepare for the future.

Leadership in the future

According to Surman, in the future, the work environment will have smaller physical offices with greater flexibility in where and how employees will be working. This means that leaders will need to lead and engage with their employees differently. She envisions a move to a compressed workweek, either with longer days from Monday to Thursday or for four days a week. Surman believes that this change will bring about a reduction in the need for large office spaces. This efficiency, in turn, can support affordable housing.

So, what does leadership look like in the future? Surman shares five key areas that leaders need to focus on in order to be future-fit.

  • Firstly, leaders must be emotionally intelligent with a heightened level of self-awareness and awareness of others.
  • Secondly, leaders must have the capability to provide performance discussions, constructive feedback, and coaching to employees virtually.
  • Thirdly, leaders must lead authentically, with a focus on mindfulness, resilience, and mental well-being. Fourthly, leaders must be aware of employees’ styles and motivations and be able to connect with them, both in person and virtually.
  • Finally, leaders must be equipped to navigate complex topics like equity, diversity, and inclusion, collaboration, collective intelligence, leading in uncertainty, and disruption, and all things digital.

Prepare for the future

To prepare for the future, Surman believes that the Learning and Development function must stay ahead of the curve and foster an environment of motivation. This involves organizations conducting environmental scans to understand trends, being agile and flexible in adapting to changes, and experimenting with new ways of working. Surman also stresses the importance of creating bite-sized learning opportunities and blended learning programs. These enable learners to move from knowledge and awareness to action.

In conclusion, the future of leadership requires a focus on emotional intelligence, virtual coaching, authentic leadership, employee motivation, and navigating complex topics. The learning and development function must be ahead of the curve and be prepared to support organizations in adapting to the changing landscape of the world. With these insights, organizations can better prepare for what the future of leadership may look like.

Listen to the full episode of “Beyond the Sky’s You in 2042: The Future of Work” to hear more from D Surman and get a deeper dive into her thoughts on the future of work.