In the ever-changing landscape of business, the most successful executives know that strategy must be dynamic and continually adapted to current and emerging conditions. Few leaders, however, take time regularly to challenge their personal assumptions, beliefs, and approaches to leading people.

There is no question that leadership in today’s never normal environment requires a new set of skills and competencies. Based on HORN’s interactions with thousands of leaders around the world, we’ve found five critical trends that leaders need to be aware of and adapt to:

  1. Leading in a hybrid world – As organizations continue to define what hybrid is for them, upskilling leaders to ensure they can engage and motivate team members, protect corporate culture regardless of where people work, and deliver results remains a top priority.
  2. Increasing employee engagement – The disengaged have been re-branded as ‘quiet-quitters’, employees are talking about ‘acting their wage’, and many organizations have restructured in anticipation of lower earnings and/or more challenging economic conditions. Maximizing engagement and discretionary effort has moved to the top of leader priorities.
  3. Fostering well-being – While the need to better engage the workforce is a priority, organizations realize that it must be balanced with a concern for employee well-being. Leading organizations are working hard to reduce stigma, equip leaders with the ability to have sensitive conversations and help them implement best practices to protect personal and employee well-being.
  4. Operationalizing a growth mindset – The economy is on the mind of every business leader, and to succeed in more challenging times the responsibility for identifying new sources of business value cannot rest solely on senior leaders. It must become a team sport. Organizations are investing significantly in training that shift mindsets to help people be growth-oriented, and teach the skills needed to turn ideas into tangible results.
  5. Leading the whole person – While advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have been on the executive agenda for a while, the global health crisis and new working models have further amplified the need for more personalized leadership. One size no longer fits all. Leaders must do their best to understand the individual needs of employees and work creatively within organizational policies to meet them.

Call to action

The only certainty in today’s disrupted world is that change will continue to accelerate. It’s imperative that leaders keep evolving their leadership skills and competencies. Here are some actions to ensure success:

  • Re-examine leadership competency models – have the competencies or supporting behaviours been updated recently? If not, it may be time to re-visit them.
  • Reflect on the five leadership trends. Identify which are most critical in your organizational context and assess yourself and other leaders in your organization against each. Encourage people to seek out feedback from team members to get a broader and more complete perspective.
  • Create personal leadership action plans. Have every leader select one or two things to improve and create a plan on how to achieve their goals. Assign accountability partners to keep everyone on track with their personal development.

For more insights on the leadership skills required to succeed in today’s never normal environment, contact us at


About the Author

Michelle Moore is the Managing Director at HORN. Michelle has over 25 years of global experience, working with organizations to use human capital to solve complex business challenges, and with individuals to maximize personal effectiveness and career success. She has expertise across a broad range of industries, and specialized knowledge regarding innovation and digital transformation.


About HORN

We transform cultures and capabilities by better customizing solutions to the specific needs and context of our clients’ businesses and people. Our mission is to provide transformative organizational solutions and unforgettable personal learning that profoundly shifts how people think, work and lead.

For over thirty-five years, we’ve been catalysts in advancing the thinking, behavior and performance of thousands of leaders across six continents, 48 countries and every major industry. Learn more at

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