TalentLeadership DevelopmentWhat are the biggest challenges for leaders today?

What are the biggest challenges for leaders today?

Finding a balance between digital transformation and adapting to the current environment that a workforce requires is a key area of todays challenges for leaders.

We look forward to welcoming Trudie Adcock, Head of leadership and Talent at Santander at the HRD Summit UK 5th and 6th February 2019. She discussed the main challenges that came along with her role.

What are the biggest challenges faced in your role?

A large challenge is going to be how leaders approach change in terms of transformation.

It’s important to acknowledge that I’m in a role that is in financial services, which means there has been a lot of historic common, tried and tested ways of doing things. The thing that really excites me and is one of my personal drivers, is actually doing something innovative and remarkably different.

As Henry J Heinz said – it’s doing something common and doing it uncommonly well.

What are you planning to talk about at HRD Summit?

I will talk about the balance between what is required in this new and emerging environment that we find ourselves in, what is required for organisations to transform, and how we can balance that with what we already have and driving a new way of leadership learning internally as well as externally. I will draw on parallels between different industries in regard to leadership, as well as touching upon females in leadership.

What does the future of your role and industry look like?

The biggest challenge that I’ve seen in terms of my vision is how we’re approaching change and transformation, and what that means for leaders. It’s going to feel even more disruptive and uncomfortable, so in addition to the disruption that we’re seeing at a Macroeconomic level, it is also disruption for them personally which feels quite different in today’s world.

Truly understanding and recognising the uncomfort that exists for leaders, and the potential for a lot of resistance in that space (particularly where people feel confident with the practices that made them successful in the past), is more important now than ever. It is also important to know that something else, something new, is required to move forward, Being respectful of what has made them successful in the past and being courageous enough to abandon some of those practices to achieve something different (and successful) going forward.

What’s the most important aspect of your role looking forward into the future?

To help leaders think about 3 parts of their role. The first is helping leaders look at where they are anticipating change, and really focusing on that. Second is looking at how diverse our leaders’ network is. This is more developing the capacity to look at people, organisations, and leaders, who are quite different in fact from themselves. And the third is around building cognitive resilience and courage to adopt a new, more emergent approach to leading change. The rationale behind that is, the chances are that if leaders continue doing what is comfortable, tried and tested then they won’t make the changes that they desire.

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