What Leaders Can Expect In 2021

Fewer than 18% of leaders have the qualities of mind to optimally lead in volatile, uncertain, complex environments.

Previously published in Forbes

As a leader, your challenge is to increase your capacity in the face of it all, because traditional approaches to leadership development aren’t keeping pace with the kinds of complexity we now face.

Currently, fewer than 18% of leaders have the qualities of mind to optimally lead in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments (Hall & Rowland, 2016). Fortunately, many bright people have been working on this very agenda over the past decade or so. What are they cooking up for us for 2021?

What is Vertical Leader Development?

To understand vertical development, it’s helpful to contrast it with something we are all familiar with: horizontal development.

Vertical development is about expanding your mindset — changing the way you think and behave.

Your mindset refers to the mental models you engage when you are thinking, as well as your sense of identity. Vertical development focuses on transforming the ways a leader thinks, which will impact what they do and how they behave. In vertical development, you pay attention to becoming more adaptable, more self-aware and more collaborative, as well as better able to span boundaries and networks. You develop across what Chesley, Jones and Egan call the SPINE dimensions of whole-person development: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Intuition and Emotion.

Table courtesy of Chesley, Jones and Egan

Founder of Henley Leadership Group. Developing leaders who create happy, productive workplaces. Thought Leader | Executive Coach | Forbes Contributor | Speaker

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