Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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leadership challenges

7 reasons leadership is more complicated than ever

Feeling overwhelmed by lunchtime? You’re not alone. Leaders are responsible for more moving parts than ever before. Let’s take a look at seven of the common – but complicated – reasons why leadership isn’t an easy role. 


  1. There are more variables now than there have ever been in the workplace. Leadership is more difficult now because there is simply more for leaders to know. There is more technology to master. There are more complications with supply chains, with global implications.  Human resources are more involved as employees worry about safety and health.  Budgets, taxes, and industry regulations seem to get more complicated by the day.
  2. The pace of change has accelerated. The last year prompted a forced acceleration in the pace of change. Leaders know managing change is a continuous process. Most people struggle with change because the habenula of our brains resists change.  Even though most people like the idea of positive change, our brains push back.  Most people, when faced with any kind of change, experience denial, resistance, exploration, and then finally some level of commitment. The ease with which people arrive at the exploration and commitment phase is directly linked with how the change is presented and implemented.  Direct supervisors are key. 
  3. The number of available resources and sourcing is no longer local, it is global. Leaders have to assess resource allocation based on international factors and world prices and delivery options.
  4. Products and services are more complex. The next wave of globalization is focused on information and services, and leaders need to be prepared to be adaptable, solve complex problems, and create ingenious solutions.
  5. Everyone in an organization needs to be customer-focused and sales-minded. Leaders have to lead the effort to create engaged employees who are intent on serving customers.
  6. Social issues have become business issues. Period. 
  7. Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks. Taking risks now can make or break a company. Leaders have to understand more about the risks they are taking, the unintended as well as the intended consequences, and the long-term impacts. Getting different perspectives from customers from different demographics will grow in importance as perceptions rapidly shift.


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