The leadership decade requires leaders to accept the fact that a major part of their role as leaders is to invest time and energy into individuals’ continuous leadership improvement. In order to succeed as a leader, it will be critical to be extraordinarily intentional about this investment. It simply cannot happen organically.

All world-class performers we have interviewed over the years understood that energy, like time, is a finite resource. How they spend their energy is as important, if not more important, than how they spend their time.

The first key is understanding the principles of investment. As I have discussed in previous blogs, the idea of investing is to reap greater rewards down the road. Tackling these skills will, most definitely, require an investment of time and energy. Superior leaders will reevaluate their time management and intentionally work the development of these “leadership superpowers” into their calendars.

We find there are three superpowers that require a significant time and energy investment, generally more than the others. This is especially true when leveraging the superpowers for remote employees.

  • Explaining the why.
  • Real-time feedback.
  • Career coaching.

Explain the Why

When a new project, policy, or process is introduced, this coming decade will require additional thought to explain the why. Before any initiative is launched, leaders should challenge their own unconscious competence and formulate the explanation of the why. This will certainly require time and energy, AND it will dramatically enhance productivity and buy-in. This saves time and energy in the long run. Clearly an investment.

For the Remote Workforce

  • How did you explain the why for remote workers?
  • Did you leverage all forms of communication? Emails, texts, internal newsletters, phone, everything available?
  • Did you schedule individual conversations with your remote workforce to answer questions and further explain the why?

Real-time Feedback

Providing real-time feedback cannot be left to chance. It must be an intentional act that is implemented regularly. Leaders need to schedule time to dissect victories and celebrate successes. Dissecting victories or giving pats on the back are not a waste of time. It is certainly not a trophy for just showing up.

Intentional leadership and the investment of time and energy into driving feedback conversations into the culture are needed. This will enhance overall employee engagement. For those leaders who never had this superpower modeled for them, it may require more effort. The leadership decade requires a commitment to developing this critical skill.

For the Remote Workforce

  • At a minimum, should technology be leveraged for “face-to-face” discussions?
  • Does your calendar set aside blocks of time to provide real-time feedback to remote workers?
  • Have you set time aside each day to reach out to your remote workforce and provide appropriate recognition?
  • Are you allowing time in your remote conversations for “rapport building?”
  • Are you learning all you can about what motivates your folks during these conversations?

Career Coaching

It is critical for leaders to continually help folks navigate their career options. This simply cannot be a once-a-year discussion.

Leaders need to invest their time and energy not only in having these discussions but also in preparing for them. Leaders simply cannot “wing it” during career coaching conversations. This is someone’s livelihood, career, and future. Winging it is unacceptable.

The leadership decade requires a deep understanding of each individual’s own career vision. It also requires investing some time and energy in advance of these conversations to think through any advice, direction, developmental areas, and resources that could help folks advance their careers.

You should have proactively thought through a plan for each of your team members compiled from mutual discussions. A leader should update and revisit this information regularly to help folks navigate the career chessboard.

For the Remote Workforce

  • Are you limiting your remote workers’ career chessboards because they are remote?
  • Do you have an “out of sight/out of mind” mentality regarding remote workers’ careers?
  • Have you scheduled time to understand their career visions?
  • Have you thought through additional blocks on the chessboard that might exist for remote workers such as geography?

Adapted from our best-selling book, The Leadership Decade: A Playbook for an Extraordinary Era. If you’d like to purchase a copy, please visit for a hardback book or for an ebook. For even more information, check out