How to: 5 survival tips for leaders in 2017

Human Resources


2016 was a year of significant insecurity and increasing tension. How do you navigate this as a leader and how do you adapt your leadership? Thought Leader Koen Marichal shares five resolutions for leaders to work towards.

1. Don’t be guided by social media

The controversy concerning the impact of social media on society is growing. A post-truth atmosphere can pervade organizations and teams as well. The good is as easily besmirched as the bad is normalized. Balancing, considering and decreeing through tweets. There’s something off about it. This is entirely at odds with a brand of leadership that promotes cooperation from a shared mission and value system. Tweets are a means to an end. Truly.


2. Don’t be blinded by data

In future, more and more decisions will be based on algorithms. And why not? Many human decisions are based on bias and partial information anyway. Tempting yet dangerous, but nonetheless a reality. Research shows this makes it even more important for people-driven leadership to preserve trust and safety in teams and organizations. Using a shared mission and values as a compass, instead of data.


3. Supply shared mental models 

Flawed teams or networks eventually come to a standstill, regardless of how well they are being managed. We are rediscovering this truth as organizations are becoming more fluid. Flexibility should not be an excuse for laissez-faire leadership. On the contrary, it is only through ‘shared mental models’ in terms of priorities, roles, understanding and authority that sustainable flexibility becomes possible.


4. Create an inclusive atmosphere by focusing on the positive

In leadership there is no ‘I, we and the others’. All around us we are witnessing the disastrous impact of radical and insecurity-driven ‘we-thinking’. It is tempting to lead by critiquing others but this only leads to more polarization. In other words, use non-belligerent language, focus on positive aspects and expand the circle of trust.


5. Focus on the ‘here and now’

At any given time and in any situation, it is possible to be productive and make a difference. This capacity can be developed by cultivating a ‘here-and-now-mentality’ and no longer worrying about things that have happened or are still to happen. This demands a psychological flexibility that can be learned through practice. We will need it moving forward.

Do you agree with these resolutions? Or do you feel like you could use some more inspiration?
Then be sure to take a look at our other blog posts on leadership!