What Leadership Skills are Hot in 2022

September 15, 2022

What Leadership Skills are Hot in 2022

We are about to enter the fourth quarter of this year, and this year has taught leaders a lot of things about adapting, embracing change, and finding out how to survive through uncertainty. A lot of us also needed to look back on our roots and return to the basics of what it means to lead.

When times are rough, the best leaders know how to listen to what they need to do to help the people they are leading survive, grow, and thrive, whatever the curveball life throws at their teams. And that’s exactly what 2022 has been for most of us. With all the shifts we had to navigate, the economic downturns that caused a lot of anxiety, rampant burnout in the workplace, the Great Resignation, coming out of a two-year pandemic, and figuring out what “normal” should be, here are the hottest leadership skills that were relevant, in demand, and talked about a lot so far in 2022.

Empathy and trust are at the top of the list. There’s been a call for leaders to lead with kindness, integrity, and openness. This doesn’t mean coddling your employees and catering to their every want and need, but more of taking the initiative to listen empathically, and make decisions that are less “corporate” and more "human."

Topics about motivating others and fostering potential and growth are also very loud this year. People are putting more emphasis on finding jobs that are meaningful to them, and they need leaders that can keep them motivated and help them become better people and better at their crafts.

Now that the COVID situation has seen improvements, the heated debate on whether to call employees back to the office or to give our workforce the option to work remotely has given rise to topics on collaboration, communication, engagement, and digital transformation. As leaders, we need to work on ways to improve the way we communicate and make it more efficient so that whether you are face-to-face with your team, or living on two opposite sides of the map, collaboration and cooperation go smoothly. Of course, forging meaningful relationships with your people is a must, and keeping them engaged and aligned with the purpose and mission of your company is a powerful tool for success.

Agility, resilience, and strategic thinking that scales are also some of the hottest conversations in leadership. The fear of a recession and whether people will be losing their livelihoods has everyone in a bit (or a lot) of panic. That’s why leaders have to think of ways to be the solid rock that anchors their people amid these turbulent times. They also need to take the lead on how to be agile and ready to face unexpected challenges that will crop up in order to, not only survive but even thrive in uncertain times.

When things get rough, people tend to go “soul-searching” and rediscover their why in order to keep them centered. As they say, if you keep your eye on your destination, you won’t get lost. So, in a world that feels like the roads beneath your feet are shifting, knowing what the goal is can help keep you grounded.

Everyone wants to know that their voice, their opinions, are heard. Whether that is in the context of personal relationships, how you can contribute to the company’s mission and culture, or just in everyday interactions with your colleagues, friends, and/or peers, giving and receiving feedback is an important part of it. It is about being good active listeners, giving respect and valuing others’ opinions, making sure you don’t think you alone know it all, and seeing things from different perspectives in order to build something better and more collaborative—in the workplace, or at home.

With the majority of teams still working from anywhere, leaders have also been challenged to think outside the box when it comes to team-building strategies. How can we better bridge the physical distance between our teams with the technology and means that we have?

Lastly, authenticity, honesty, and integrity are qualities that people appreciate from leaders, not just this year, but for quite a long time. The world can be a stressful (and sometimes cruel) place. Knowing that the people who lead us can be trusted is an important source of comfort and relief.

We still have a couple of months ahead in 2022, and despite its turbulence, it has been a year of personal and professional growth. And we will continue to learn how to lead better in the coming year.

Let’s keep looking at life from a learner’s perspective and remember to lead with kindness. 

Thanks for reading A Brilliant Tribe.