Editor’s note: Ed Hess is professor of business administration at the Darden School of Business and the author of “Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change.”
The times they are a-changing – and so is the nature of our work. As our familiar world shifts around us (thanks, COVID-19!) and as technology continues snapping up more and more of the tasks humans have always done, we’ll need a whole new set of skills. If we want to stay employed and viable, we must reinvent ourselves. Leaders. Employees. Everyone.
And it’s not like adding new rooms onto an old house. It’s more like tearing it down to the foundation and rebuilding.
The new world we’re entering has flipped everything upside down. The skills, mind-sets and ways of being that were once prized and sought after have actually become liabilities.
We must all be able to continuously learn, unlearn and relearn by adapting to the reality of the world as it evolves. This is not easy, considering our inherent ego-driven need to defend what we think we know. It requires a whole new way of being and a whole new way of working – which, in turn, requires a whole new way of leading.
Here are seven skills and attitudes that not long ago might have gotten you a corner office – but may now get you fired:
Command-and-control leadership style. Expecting people to “follow orders or else” works well when you’re running a factory. In that setting, you expect people to be cogs – to do rather than to think, problem-solve and connect. In the digital age, though, you’ll need to lead people whose jobs require innovation, creativity and emotional engagement. You cannot coerce or command people to do these things. Instead, you must create the conditions that enable them.
Motivation by fear. In the old command-and-control days (think Industrial Revolution), this worked. Fear is an effective motivator when you need people to simply (mindles...