In the face of globalization, digitization, and the demands of a modern workforce, the mandate for leaders has grown.

Great leadership has always required skills like strategic thinking, delegation, humility, and the ability to motivate others. But over the past 20 years of working with C-suite executives, we’ve found that the skills and behaviors business leaders need to succeed have evolved dramatically.

Today, in the face of globalization, digitization, and the demands of a modern workforce, the game has changed. The mandate for leaders now goes well beyond traditional skills. It extends into behaviors that enable their ability to anticipate, lead, and manage people and companies through ongoing, rapid transformations both within and beyond their walls.

Here are five behaviors that we at Notion believe every leader must show right now to stay in the game.

 Leaders must be:

1.     Equipped and energized to lead transformation on a short-term, long-term and large-scale basis. No organization is immune to the technological, social and economic changes happening around us. 

2.     Adept at making decisions in the face of ambiguity.  Waiting for perfect information and data is a sure path to failure.

3.     Accountable for their choices. For better or worse, our world has become infinitely more transparent, and everyone is watching our leaders. As a result, leaders must be prepared and accountable for every choice they make.

4.     Empathetic to a broad range of people. As the workforce becomes more diverse –by way of geography, ethnicity, race, gender and age – leaders must be able to personally relate to individuals’ needs, styles and capabilities to maximize their impact on the business.

5.     Passionate and purposeful. The tight labor market, the rise of a “purpose over paycheck” generation, and a more digital and mobile workforce than ever before means that employees are thinking hard about the kinds of leaders they want to follow. To become a sought-after employer, leaders must infuse passion and purpose into their leadership style and show that employees can do meaningful work that matters.

We all know that much has changed in the global business landscape over the past decade. As a result, across every industry, the leadership mandate continues to grow and evolve. But when leaders consistently engage in these five behaviors, they can build the muscles required to not only survive but to thrive for years to come.

Experts Agree

A recent study by McKinsey shows that companies face different challenges for implementing large-scale changes today than they did even four years ago. As a result, say the study’s authors, executives must now focus on different priorities and capabilities.