Leadership Trends in the U.S.A.

In April 2016, Jennifer Kumar, the Managing Director of Authentic Journeys attended Monroe Community College Corporate College's Open House in Rochester, New York. 

During the Open House, the over 50 participants attended talks by influential professionals working in conjunction with the corporate college. During one of the sessions, an intriguing question was asked:  

“What are the leadership trends or challenges you face in your organization in 2016?”
Jim Gertner, Director of the Corporate College,
moderates the panel discussion with
representatives from Harris, Paychex, and Optimax.
Answers included:
  • Learning how to manage virtual teams.
  • Need more understanding of how to lead in culturally diverse domestic and global settings. (Answering why workplace dynamics differ in Ohio and California as well as in America and India.)
  • Navigating up to four different generations and work styles in the office place.
  • How to empower team members rather than micromanaging. Learning to let go and trust.
  • A lack of understanding of what leadership actually is.
  • Lack of mentorship or examples of good leadership. Leaders not having enough time to mentor, or those who need mentoring not wanting or looking out for mentoring.
  • Lack of leadership or mentorship among peers.
  • The younger generations (millennials) not understanding networking skills. 
  • Employees of different backgrounds lacking emotional intelligence, conflict management, and soft-skills.
  • Some team members may have multiple managers, with no coordination between managers due to co-location, global, virtual teams and working offsite.
  • Not giving due credit, or taking credit where no credit should be taken.
  • Having to manage larger numbers of younger workers (younger workers outnumber older workers).
  • How to deal with high turnover.
  • Unable to manage time effectively.

Todd Oldham, V.P. of the Corporate College talks
about career pathways.
While these leadership trends, challenges and topics may vary based on the dynamics of a company or a team, the striking feature is that in the globalized world of 2016, these same concerns arise in many of the companies in India I work with. This goes to show that while many organizational dynamics may be localized based on culture, many are common to different organizations or offshore sister companies of the parent company based in vastly different countries. The challenge for teams, managers, human resources and business consultants is to understand is how the interplay of global and local factors impact these challenges in their office place. 




Author, Jennifer Kumar (pictured, right at the event), the Managing Director of Authentic Journeys provides leadership, relationship management, cross-cultural competency sessions, and virtual team building for Indian offshore teams, American-based global professionals, engineering students in India, and international students in the U.S. Contact us to learn more. 

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