The evolution of leadership
Social and cultural evolutions, digital revolution, globalization, environmental constraints, tyranny of the market … In a constantly changing environment, leadership is the master asset for management in keeping up with the times. The role of the leader is changing and adjusting every single day.
Good leadership requires specific, innate and natural abilities. For some managers these abilities may be dormant and in others they need to be confirmed or developed. In all cases, far from being obtained through theoretical and calculated learning, leadership reveals itself and matures in the light of experience, and requires some essential qualities. Here are some of them:
1) The ability to express a vision, to detect big trends by successfully grasping weak signals of changes, and engage, in time, the necessary adjustments, showing the way, giving meaning and pointing the direction. Without a medium / long-term business plan, essential to a group’s long-term trajectory, the consequences of a lack of reflection on the evolution of one’s own environment are not slow to be felt;
2) The ability to turn a concept and a vision into collective action of the entire company, which encourages the realization that nothing is done without the support of the men and women of the company, and that the social acceptability of any change is the keystone of any transformation process;
3) The growth of a natural authority and the ability to delegate and encourage initiative, are essential to create the dynamics of training and practice that will make things happen. A company is a team; just as the captain is essential, every player even the most modest one, has his/her role to play. They must understand the meaning of their actions and feel recognized in what they do;
4) Personal commitment, exemplary value for the whole company, based on enthusiasm, determination and strong convictions, are also vital elements. The leader unifies and brings the team together around his/ her values. And if the leader can have, in addition to the charisma, this indefinable flavor that naturally calls for respect and support, then setting in motion the teams and leading the changes will be smoothed over;
5) Ability to communicate externally and internally, to explain by simplifying the complex, to integrate and consolidate the company around those gathering symbols. Somebody that goes from the ‘I’ mentality to the ‘we’ attitude, working in synergy, without a dominant / dominated relationship. Works for the common good with mindful actions rather than simply reactions, in the sense of ‘me for the others’ and not ‘the others for me’;
6) A good reading of the team players, as different individuals will require different approaches. Leaders will have to take into account the risks of generational conflict. Generations Y and Z are not managed in the same way. The younger generations have a tendency to individualism, potentially making more difficult to carry out business group projects and to achieve collective objectives. The ability of managers to create a team spirit and an associated dynamic becomes crucial. Also, their motivation may lie more in their well-being at work than in their career prospects. Their commitment is measured according to the confidence, autonomy and delegation of responsibilities actually granted them;
7) The use of social media creates an increased and positive gray area between work and private life. Rather than fight against this phenomenon, leaders must take advantage of this possibility and make it an asset which opens space for a more horizontal organization where the notion of hierarchy is more fluid. This is an indispensable tool of a good leadership with regard to the younger generations;
- Ability to identify the next generation of leaders – for a company, preparing the leaders of tomorrow is a key matter. It is about identifying employees ‘with proven potential’, to give them all the tools to deeply understand the environment they are in and the sector they operate. Some ways to achieve this is through talent identification programs and by putting them in the position to take up the collective challenges of an unpredictable and ever-changing world.
The complexity created by the new economy is forcing the evolution, dramatically changing the responsibilities of a leader. From a role of a hero in the past, as the superman or the wonder woman, the leader is nowadays seen as a partner, somebody that stands shoulder to shoulder with the team and effectively work with them, inspiring and motivating the colleagues. The leader is somebody that helps the teammates to take a step, even if not a big one, a small one, but in the right direction.
This article is for general, indicative purpose only and should not be considered investment advice. Florida Connexion is not liable for any financial loss, damage, expense or costs arising from your investment decisions based on this article.
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