What Does the Future of Leadership Look Like?

A recent report titled Global Leadership Forecast 2021 was published by DDI, a global leadership consulting firm. The report is considered the “most  leadership project of its kind” and has been around for more than 20 years, helping “companies hire, promote, and develop leaders who could meet their future business challenges.” The 2021 report has a special feature though, it is about a new “era of leadership, precariously positioned to meet ongoing crisis.” In our Effective Leadership in this Pandemic-Ridden World, we had discussed A Crisis Toolkit for Leaders and the necessity for good leaders, especially during a crisis. Similarly, the report from DDI has studied and summarized the key trends for guiding the future of leadership during a global pandemic.

Key Findings from the Global Leadership Forecast 2021

The report collected responses from 2,102 human resource professionals and 15,787 leaders from over 1,700 organizations located across 50 countries and 24 major industry sectors.

  • A common finding was that all participating companies are preparing for a future that may be crisis-laden. This in turn will require leaders who are ready to learn new skills and adapt to the changing times and needs.
  • CEOS of most companies said that they are extremely worried about how to prevent burnout and how their next generation of leaders will manage the constantly changing competitive and unpredictable world.
  • CEOs are worried about the current talent pool that makes up tomorrow’s leaders.
  • Almost 55% CEOs feel that “developing the next generation of leaders and attracting/retaining top talent is one of the major issues they face.
  • The next major concern (50% of CEOs) was to have the right leaders who can bring about product innovation to stay on top of their games.

Without good future leaders, the current CEOs will not be able to “drive their strategies forward and position their organizations for future success” and that is why we believe that it is time for everyone to become a leader. When people in all stages of their careers gain good leaderships  skills, not only will they perform their tasks efficiently, but they’ll also be able to guide and mentor their juniors to be as effective as them… this will eventually create a chain of efficient leaders for the years to come.

The study also found that the current workforce of highly skilled employees, aged 21-38, lack formal leadership coaching. They also come from more diverse backgrounds when compared to the current leadership and thus, can create a major change in the makeup of future C-suite positions. But, in order to get there, this younger generation needs:

  • Coaching & Feedback, especially from their current managers.
  • At least 30% asked for more coaching and feedback when compared to 25% of current leaders.
  • Improved Emotional Quotient (EQ): Soft skills seem to be missing in this tech-savvy world, and future leaders need to focus on their EQ and communication skills.
  • Diversity & Inclusion should be an integral part of the future leadership coaching: According to the study, only 56% of future leaders feel that their current management is working hard to “challenge themselves and others to challenge themselves and others to recognize and eliminate biases.”

How Leaders Want to Learn in the Future?


Another major finding of the Global leadership Report is that 48 % leaders want to implement “outside coaching and developmental assignments, followed by assessment and formal coaching , to most help them grow their skills outside of day-to-day work.” This need seems to be one of the most urgent ones, considering the lack for future-ready leaders.

This is where Next-Gen Personalized Coaching, Mentoring & Learning Platform like Connect4myCoach can help. With a directory of top coaches and amazing sessions for individuals and organizations, we can cater to all your Coaching needs and help you mold tomorrow’s leaders who will be impactful, empathetic and an overall success package.


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