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Surprising Ways Leadership Is Changing

What’s the current landscape of leadership and how has it changed over the last few years?

Speaker and author Clay Scroggins addresses this question and more in his book The Aspiring Leader’s Guide to the Future: 9 Surprising Ways Leadership is Changing.

In this episode, he’ll join me to discuss some of the changing trends in leadership and how our listeners can prepare for them.


Here are some takeaways he shared:


1. Leaders want trust, but they don't want to be transparent.

Trust comes from transparency, which eventually promotes a healthy culture and results in a growing company. As leaders, we don’t know it all and shouldn’t pretend like we know it all. 

By being transparent with our teams, we earn their trust which then inspires them to be more transparent with us.

Trust is built through several key practices.

Consistency: Leaders must be constant when it comes to their values and commitments.

Transparency: Being open about decisions, changes and challenges helps demystify leadership actions.

Empowerment: Trust grows when leaders empower their teams by giving them autonomy and encouraging initiatives.

Listening: Actively listening to team members and valuing their input shows that a leader respects and trusts their perspectives.

Accountability: Leaders must hold themselves accountable and admit when they are wrong.


2. Trust will be more important than ever moving in the future.

The skills it takes to build a culture of trust in person are different from the skills it takes to build it virtually. 

In person, we expect to build trust and earn it gradually. Because the workplace is moving to remote options, however, more leaders will need to start with trust right away. And employees may need to walk into a company trusting their leaders in good faith.

If trust is broken, or even fractured, then it needs to be addressed. Hard conversations are going to have to happen, but we have to start with trust.


3. If you need to have someone in the office to know they're working, you might need to spend some time in self-reflection.

We hire adults and we do due diligence to make sure they are the right person, skillset and fit for our company. Once that’s in place, we need to trust them to do their job, whether that’s in person or remote. 

If that’s a major sticking point for a leader, it may be time for them to question their ability to lead.

Ask yourself, Do I trust my team? and, Am I focusing on the right metrics for success? Reflect on your answers and consider the steps you can take to build a culture of trust within your organization. Encourage open communication, set clear expectations, and empower your team to take ownership of their work.

The ability to trust your team starts with building a culture where trust is the default. This involves clear communication, setting and agreeing upon expectations, and providing the necessary resources and support. 

Leaders must also model the behavior they wish to see; if they expect trust and accountability, they must first exhibit these traits themselves.


The modern workplace requires leaders who can manage conflict, embrace authenticity and facilitate difficult conversations with grace. Equip aspiring leaders with the tools they need to build and sustain trust in their teams, ultimately leading to more dynamic and successful organizations.

To start the important self-reflection process, ask yourself these questions.

What do you think about the statement, “Leaders want to be trusted but they don’t want to be transparent?” Have you ever seen that play out?

What have been your biggest takeaways from the move to remote workplaces over the last few years?

How has the idea of “leadership” changed from when you started your career to now?