17 Truths You Need to Know About Leadership

Brad Lomenick: “Leaders’ words weigh 1,000 pounds. You have the power to lift up or pull down others with your words.”

No matter what level of leadership you find yourself in, it’s important we all have a sense of the big picture. It’s vital we understand the larger landscape of leadership. So here are a few thoughts on the state of leadership today.

1. Going forward, work environments and team structures will look more like Hollywood film crews. People come together for a project but don’t work together full time.

2. The future of leadership is more the role of aggregator and facilitator, compared to the role of manager and boss.

3. Leadership today is more about being out in front, compared to being in charge. And leaders must be willing to stand beside their team in the trenches, rather than sitting at their desk in a corner office.

4. Change is a guaranteed reality. It is no longer something we “create” or “deal with” once it arises. We live in a day of constant change and continual innovation.

5. The rise of the entrepreneur is upon us, but so is the rise of the intrapreneur—the leader within (intra) an organization who leads with an entrepreneurial spirit.

6. Power is shared among a community of people. No longer does the top-down hierarchical leader have all the power and control. Hierarchy is bottom-up and community-in, not top-down and single leader-driven.

7. In general, the new “conference” is small, niche-focused and practical, compared to the past model of large, generic and inspiring.

8. Storytelling must be part of your influence strategy, marketing plan and overall brand-building plan. Without it you’re just another commodity fighting for attention.

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9. The gig economy is upon us. Free agency is not just a sports term; it’s a business and cultural mainstay.

10. No one is born world-class. It takes hard work to get there. Put your work clothes on and get in the game.

11. Leaders’ words weigh 1,000 pounds. You have the power to lift up or pull down others with your words.

12. Many leaders quit right before the breakthrough. Stick with it. The messy middle of discipline and perseverance paves the way for potential upside and success.

13. We need to be reminded just as often we are instructed. Leadership is about repetition as much as revelation.

14. Collaboration is crucial in today’s culture. Teaming up with one another can result in true synergy. Partnerships create innovation, breakthrough and discovery. Working with others allows for input from outside your normal circle of staff or key team members.

15. Transparency is also crucial. Authenticity and honesty make for long-term and short-term impact.

16. You must build bridges, not walls. And be willing to walk across that bridge, meet someone on the other size and walk them back across, hand in hand. Your commitment will fuel others’ willingness to work together.

17. Making things happen and taking projects across the finish line is now the role of every person in the organization, not just the doers or the operations team. Those who execute are arguably more important than those who merely ideate.

Brad Lomenick is a speaker, writer, leadership advisor and founder of Blinc Consulting. For more than 10 years, he served as president and key visionary of Catalyst, one of America’s largest gatherings of young leaders.