How to Be a Self-Disruptive Leader

In a new report on the future of leadership , Jean-Marc Laouchez, President of the Korn Ferry Institute talks about the need for a Self-Disruptive leadership model: “Moving forward, leaders must focus on delegating responsibilities outside of their core purpose, and letting front-line managers define the rules. By doing this, not only do Self-Disruptive Leaders empower others to make decisions and develop into the best they can be, but they gain time and organizational efficiency, while helping fuel grassroots innovation.” So what does that mean for organizations to be successful in developing their leadership pipeline to meet the future? The findings suggest that mid-level leaders are the new senior leaders . In the past, middle management would often get stuck in between senior leadership decision-making and team member execution. But this Self-Disruptive leadership model implores companies to give their mid-level managers the space and authority to take action and propel their teams forward.

To Empower Mid-Level Leaders To Take The Reigns Korn Ferry Suggests Three Critical Steps:

1. Develop New Mindsets

Traditional leadership development focuses on skills and behaviors, but this needs to be supplemented with mindset development to successfully advance new Self-Disruptive Leaders. There will be a need to swap out old thinking mindsets for future mindsets:
  • Move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset , where leaders are encouraged to take risks with minimal or ambiguous information and not worry about making a mistake.
  • Move from being a know-it-all to a learn-it-all. Leaders need to empower everyone on the team to be an expert.
  • Move from uncertainty to confidence . Each leader at every level will need to believe in their decisions and have the confidence to share their ideas in an impactful way.
  • To be a Self-Disruptive Leader it is critical to have a growth mindset.

    2. Open Up Leadership Development Opportunities

    Leadership development must become available to more people. In the past, it often has been elitist and focused on certain individuals; it needs to move toward a collective model that empowers everyone in a company to develop their leadership capabilities. Organizations need to see the value in developing skills at every level to become stronger communicators, collaborators and decision-makers. There needs to be a cultural shift to the importance of growing each individual.Related: 6 Building Blocks to Extraordinary Listening

    3. Foster “Always-On” Development

    Organizations need to facilitate always-on development not only by providing learning opportunities but by helping busy employees navigate training easily and rewarding them for learning. Simultaneously, individuals at all levels need to take ownership of their own development. Together, this will build an employment contract built on mutual growth. To empower leaders at all levels to own their own development:
  • Organizations need to create individual development plans that meet the needs of both the leader and the team.
  • Coaching and mentoring programs need to be created and monitored.
  • Reverse mentoring partnerships need to evolve to show learning is a two-way street.
  • Build a workplace that encourages storytelling and sharing between all levels of leadership.
  • A Self-Disruptive Leader proactively owns their professional development. What additional steps have you taken to become a Self-Disruptive Leader? If you are interested in building a pipeline of Self-Disruptive Leaders please let me know.