The Efficient Leader

Practical Ideas You Can Use Today

Leadership Trends to Watch for in 2012

Welcome to the 2012 Leadership Trends Watch!

1. Perhaps Employee Engagement is at the heart of accomplishing organizational goals more than ever. Two questions must be considered if there’s room for improvement in this area. How will you go about gaining greater engagement? Do leaders know all they need to know in order to fully support employee engagement? If not, don’t count on upticks in continuous improvement, increased communication between layers in the org or between sites, morale, or productivity. If these two issues are not addressed properly, resources are likely to be directed toward covering for missed work, employee retention, missed communication opportunities, and spinning the story. Instead of spending resources on the clean-up, consider preparing everyone to increase engagement.

2. As pressure for increased performance continues to climb, set a direction for the organization regarding healthy ways to accomplish the goals. Some organizations have tapped their people for as much time and effort as humanly possible. This approach may be as involved as a culture shift or as simple as a productivity plan. It’s time to go beyond making expectations clear and measuring results. It’s time to re-think the possible and the plans to reach it.

3. Communication continues to be of supreme importance as we seek to do more … possibly with less. It must be tackled from a top down perspective, with particular emphasis on ensuring that middle management communicate clearly, concisely, and in a manner well-received by their employees (direct and in-direct). Supervisors must be kept informed of plans and changes and must be able to get the message to the operator level in a way that represents well the intentions of the owners. Additionally the culture must encourage (by word and deed), even expect, operator-level employees to communicate upwards. And not only when their manager is not listening. Remember this: Don’t plan all of your time each day. Otherwise you will miss what others are saying to you and you are not likely to communicate all you need to.

4. Preparing Successors with leadership skills is just as important as ensuring they have the necessary technical knowledge. Otherwise the culture of the organization hangs in the balance.

For more information on any of these important issues for 2012, contact Jo Umberger, President and CEO, Umberger Development Partners Inc., at

Copyright Umberger Development Partners Inc., 2012. All rights reserved. Do not reprint without permission.


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