Times are changing. Whether it's the colder weather, holiday cheer, post-election ruckus, or the fast-approaching new year, things are not what they once were. The truth is that we live in an evolving world that is not the stationary noun we pretend it to be.

In our modern selfie-centered society, technology is modifying the ways people communicate and how businesses advertise, which requires leaders to modify their approach to stay relevant. Always looking for an edge, today's leaders remain effective by responding to the ever-changing demands of a dynamic marketplace.

The following list contains 15 crucial tips that all leaders need to know now and in the not-so-distant future. All leaders need to:

1. Practice non-attachment by being responsive to new trends and technologies.

Be like Darwin and adapt or be left behind. The market doesn't care about your feelings--it is a meritocracy that prizes results.

2. Accept responsibility when things go wrong to demonstrate the importance of accountability.

Diffusion of responsibility is a poison to the integrity of an organization. Your ability to accept responsibility sends the message that accountability isn't a death sentence--it's something that speaks to the quality of your character.

3. Pay greater attention to cultural diversity now than ever before.

Whether it's the shifting demographics of the general population or the social acceptance of LGBTQ rights, you need to educate yourself and provide meaningful ways to honor the experiences and identities of others in and outside of your organization.

4. Embody the values and principles of your organization, or take steps to redefine your mission.

The integration of social media with personal and professional identities means that you are now your business. Congruence and authenticity are the values most important to younger generations and its time for you to get with the times.

5. Engage in self development practices to minimize blind spots and stay physically, mentally, and emotionally sharp.

We all have shortcomings and areas of our lives that could be improved if we just invested proper time and energy. If your business is a reflection of yourself, it's time to start taking self-development seriously.

6. Create a non-judgmental space for employees to voice their opinions.

Police Brutality. Black Lives Matter. Trump 2016. Social issues aren't going away, they're getting captured on Facebook Live and being broadcasted to millions of viewers.

You need to find ways to generate safe conversations for all individuals that need to talk before silence creates rifts in your team.

7. Tolerate opposing viewpoints and uncomfortable emotions without getting upset.

However difficult it may be, you need to be the one that contains uncomfortable feelings rather than making them worse--it's a central responsibility of leadership.

The ability to unite instead and make people feel heard is the sign of an effective leader.

8. Show employees their value so they, in turn, are inspired to work for you.

Just like football coaches no longer prevent their players from getting water during practice, you too don't have to hold back on giving rewards to acknowledge high performance.

9. Improve your listening skills so that you can address conflicts before they escalate.

Keep an ear to the ground and try to address issues informally before taking them up the ladder.

10. Hire employees that believe in your vision even if they lack skills or experience.

You can teach skills and provide valuable learning experience, but you can't replace genuine motivation, passion, and verve.

When someone is hungry to work for you because they believe in your values, they will provide more value than someone with skills that's only there for a paycheck.

11. Constantly evaluate how you can improve lines of communication and integrate feedback.

If you ask for feedback--do something with it. If you don't ask for feedback--start.

12. Hire more diverse teams and encourage collaboration to ignite innovation.

When you embrace diversity rather than fighting it, you not only become a sought-after place of employment, you also stay on the cutting edge of innovation because you are able to adopt unique perspectives.

13. Model better behavior than you expect from your employees.

It's time to practice what you preach, and then some. You need to hold yourself to a higher standard than your employees--that's what leadership's all about.

14. Invest in your business by hiring consultants to provide insights and suggestions for improvements.

Always invest in your future by looking into research and development, and by inviting others to show you how to fine-tune your operation.

15. Balance your vision for the future with appreciation of the here-and-now.

Without valuing what is, you'll never be able to enjoy what's next. Sometimes we spend our lives so fixated on the peak that we fail to acknowledge the beauty of the climb.

Leaders need to challenge themselves to accept where they are while moving towards elusive and ever-changing goals.

Published on: Dec 7, 2016