Leadership is in danger; complacency is becoming the new normal. With  the mounting pressure and demands of change managementleaders  must carefully pick and choose their battles. In their efforts to propel action and secure the required investments, many grow frustrated as measureable progress towards moving the conversation forward gets caught in the corporate noise that surrounds them. More than ever, leadership has become an exercise in survival of the fittest – and as a consequence, those leaders who have grown more complacent, are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge and thought-leadership footing.

Leadership in the 21st century requires mental toughness, stamina andpatience.  Being a market leader demands a new breed of leadership that can withstand the punishment of the daily grind and the people pressures along the way.  As industries reinvent themselves and the demands of new government regulations work their way into the fold, leaders are not only challenged to manage the ongoing dynamics of the business and demands of its people – but they must also   implement compliance requirements while anticipating their impact on corporate best practices.

Leadership is a journey and the best leaders know how to pace themselves accordingly.

It’s easy for market leaders to grow complacent when they feel  the alternative is to take two steps back before taking one step forward in  an effort to find their footing in today’s changing terrain. As a result, larger corporations in particular become more vulnerable to competitive pressures because they lose strategic focus and don’t see the opportunities their emerging competitors are seeing and seizing.

Changing times require a change in one’s leadership style and approach. Here are a few early warning signs to avoid the dangers of complacent leadership.

1.  Fear Settles In

When leaders begin to fear what is required to move the company’s agenda forward – this is cause for concern.  For example, many leaders don’t want to manage through the political and/or employee dynamics that are associated with changing times for fear of being left exposed and placed in a vulnerable position.

While many leaders may not admit to being fearful, it is becoming more common as the market becomes more uncertain.  As a leader, uncertainty must become your best friend and you must tackle it head on by anticipating the unexpected and taking action to solve for what lies ahead rather than waiting for others to determine your fate.  Adversity can make or break you, but it primarily reveals you. Fear is a by-product of not always knowing what the consequences of your actions will be in a changing marketplace.

The more complacent you are as a leader, the more unpredictable the environment becomes and your ability to control and lead  in it.

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