January 03, 2018 Views : 1238Comments : No Comments
Where the leader is only as strong as his team
Where authority is decentralized and the team has a 'say' or is at the very least involved in decision-making
Where decision-making and power is vested in the hands of the leader
Visions are abstract, yet they have this amazing power to give us purpose in life, a reason to set goals and the zeal to achieve them. Perhaps this explains why every great leader in the history of mankind was a visionary. They had the courage to unite people and guide them with a shared purpose toward achieving a collective vision.
The spirit of positive leadership, which thrives on shared visions and collaborations, remains largely relevant today. Corporate leaders at the helm of their organizations cannot afford to stick to old-school leadership practices like micromanaging with a “bottom-line mentality,” for they often erode trust through noncommunication and authority centralization. They’d be much better off cultivating mutual trust to drive collective success in a world where change is the only constant, technology evolves every day, and geographically scattered workspaces have become the norm.
The proliferation of advanced technologies has helped businesses unify processes and drive collective value from enhanced productivity and quality control. Leaders have started to realize that dividing the organization into small isolated areas for each function doesn’t necessarily mean more efficiency. It could instead restrict employees from gaining clear process understanding that they may need to make timely and accurate decisions.
The more employees are aware of the company’s internal and external environments, the faster they can take decisions — helping the entity as a whole adapt to changing situations. Cross-pollination between discrepant business functions and knowledge-sharing are often endorsed by true leaders. This enhances employee engagement and trust, foundations of any progressive organization.
Approximately 81 percent of CEOs believe that having trust, sharing values, and building a progressive culture are key to long-term organizational sustainability. The same study reveals that despite all the buzz surrounding machines, core human values like trust and empathy rank high on the list of CEO priorities.
The next logical step for industry and corporate leaders would be to invest in personal and professional development of the millennial workforce, a staggering 63% of who believe that their leadership skills are not being rightly developed. By increasing mentorship opportunities, preventing millennials from job-hopping can become relatively easier. Several companies have already started to walk in that direction. Kaizen events have been organized in companies like Toyota where workers in the production line are pulled off their regular duties and given time and space to device leaner processes and innovative work methods.
Yet, 63 percent of employees still question their CEO’s credibility. This lack of trust sometimes emanates from employee-leader miscommunication. This is where it helps to nurture a collaborative and transparent environment where employees get to communicate and become a part of new learning opportunities.
Learning is a two-way process. While it is important to mentor and train staff to develop their skills, it is as important for leaders to pick up new technical skills from their juniors. With the widespread adoption of digital culture in several forward-thinking companies, the significance of digital leadership has become apparent.
While it’s reasonable to count on courage and confidence while exploring new digital territories with the team, during turbulent times all a leader really requires is vigilance. In practice, this could mean staying abreast with the latest trends and responding to changes as they come. In a mutual learning environment, leaders can leverage the digital prowess of their subordinates to learn about their competitors, market disruptions, digital affordances, and new entrants.
Combining employee motivation with accountability for results can drive performance through empowerment. Leaders can take companies to greater heights if they possess an inspirational attitude. A survey unearthed 33 unique traits that make inspirational leaders. It spans across four key areas – “developing inner resources, connecting with others, setting the tone, and leading the team.” Since inspiring leaders are not born but made, cultivating these personality traits can help mid-level managers double their chances of succeeding.
Going forward, the trials facing the leaders of tomorrow will continue to be technological evolution and the disruption it creates across sectors. Under such conditions, the authority to ride ahead of the power curve will lie with those who are prolific team players. After all, a great leader’s identity is a summation of the people he or she is surrounded by and not credentials, individual achievements, and the other usual wherewithal.
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