For someone on a mission to change how leadership is practiced and defined, Leslie Caccamese’s invitation to write a piece for the Great Place to Work blog carnival on the workplace of 2025 was too enticing an opportunity to pass up! I went for it…and would love to know what you think! Could such a scenario even be possible? What would have to change to make it so? What else would you add to the list?


7 things leaders do in 2025Come 2025, business leaders will have transcended ego, greed and power.

They’ll have followed Mark Twain’s advice and made hamburger out of the sacred cows of good-ole-boy-hierarchies and the it’s-OK-to-compromise-ethics-for-growing-the-bottom-line mentality.

There are 7 things that are business-as-usual for them as they work in high performing, high satisfaction cultures.

7 leadership things to happily look forward to doing in 2025

1) There’s an absence of bias and stereotype coupled with total blindness to gender, ethnicity, size and age.

Women and men of all ages and ethnicities populate every job class and value each other’s contribution. Old-fashioned notions about men being better at taking charge and women more skilled at taking care prompt giggles and disbelief that such quaint beliefs were once accepted.

2) People, principles and profits are valued equally; and one is not sacrificed for the other.

The common view is that making more and more money is not an automatic sign of success. Character, moral centers, ethics, sustainability, and philanthropy all matter, too.

3) Learning and development is a participative sport open to all who want to play.

Fast-paced, rapid change environments require constant learning, and the tools for individual and group education are available to everyone. Gone are the days when training was the first activity to fall victim to the cost-costing axe (see #2). Development opportunities exist everywhere from online to classroom to micro-burst discussions at the coffee bar.

4) Serendipity, chaos and disruption are highly desirable states.

Comfort zones are inhabited only briefly. Leaders encourage themselves and others to push the envelope, to explore the uncharted terrain, to ask the taboo questions, and to dance with the elephant. There’s a culture of constructive dissent, respectful irreverence, unrelenting empathy, and unparalleled performance.

5) Power is practiced as “power-with” and “power-to.”

Power as command-and-control is so archaic. Power is defined and practiced as the capacity or potential to generate change that transforms what is to what can be. Dialogue, inclusion, negotiation, and shared power all combine to guide decision and strategy making. When faced with solving complex collective issues that require individuals to first change themselves before they can fashion innovative responses, employees create relationships based on reciprocated respect and varied viewpoints and then drive change to make a positive, sustainable difference.

6) Connection and communication start and end every day, at every level and in a multitude of ways.

Information and knowledge are power, and one that knows no hierarchy. Information isn’t the exclusive domain of some little clique. Inclusiveness and generosity are the norm. People text and talk freely with one another, sharing ideas and building on each other’s thoughts to produce outcomes and results that benefit people, principles and profits.

7) Everyone is a paradox-embracing leader.

Regardless of job title, each employee behaves as a leader even if they aren’t the leader of a group. Leadership definitions and practices have morphed into something that’s both inclusive and paradoxical. Ideologies about I’m right/you’re wrong have gone the way of the dinosaur. Leaders are task- and relationship-oriented, empathetic and accountability-focused, confident and humble, and on and on. Everyone walks the walk and talks the talk, knowing it’s a thought and practice framework that’s complex, full of dualities, and fueled by a desire to create, contribute, and positively impact both the bottom line and workplace interactions.

What else do you see leaders doing—or doing not—come 2025?


Image source: morgueFile