The Kind of Leadership We All Need Today
The world is changing fast, and leaders need to be able to navigate it. Here is the type of leader people want in their organisations today.
With so much content for leaders now, leaders have to learn to filter out the noise. There is a lot of good advice out there, but some of it gets very detailed. Even some of my articles are for specific cases.
As leaders, we face many demands from those around us. People expect us to perform, be energised and lead them correctly. Although these are not always possible, many of their demands are pointing to one thing.
Over many years, leaderships styles have changed. And we are fortunate enough to be living in a transition period into a new era of business.
With this new era of business comes new demands for our leaders. For the most part, it is challenging demands that cause us to change the way we do things.
However, for leaders to know what to change, they need to understand what culture they are in. For a lot of organisations, the culture is set in stone. That culture could be the death of or the rise of a company, and leaders must understand how to shift it.
In this short article, I seek to show the different cultures that exist today. Through doing this, you can see what culture is in your organisation and how you may need to change it.
Your ability to shift the culture to where it needs to be will make you the type of leader everyone wants. However, you must understand these types of cultures first.
Culture 1: Job Title Over Everything
I am sure we have all met those people who introduce themselves by their job title. They will say their name and say, “I am the … manager at …”. These individuals are more than likely or not in a company where status is king.
We call these types of cultures or systems bureaucratic. That means that those at the top (the state) make all the crucial decisions. Those at the bottom will have to follow what they say, even if they disagree. However, if the people at the bottom work hard enough, they may get their turn in calling the shots.
As you can probably tell, this is not the culture you want to be in, even as a leader. Not only does it make your team feel undervalued, but it also puts way too much pressure on you to get things right.
Leaders build cultures like this when they value their status over everything. Many of these leaders came from cultures where they were micromanaged and underappreciated.
Culture 2: Knowledge of Everything
You will find that many of the organisations that are thriving today have this culture. Educational institutions are a typical example of this, but so are tech firms.
Knowledge does not just mean being book smart. It is about being competent and also generating ideas. Leaders who are knowledgeable and creative tend to thrive in this current environment.
Although knowledge being a scarce good is fading, our companies are still in need of it. And knowledge will always be an essential part of how we run our organisations.
However, over the past couple of years, we have started to see a shift away from competence. Teams do value knowledgeable leaders, but they seek qualities that go past that.
Also, in these cultures, you will find that younger generations feel left out. They are treated like babies who still have a long way to go. Although there is truth to this, no one wants to feel like they have to wait for another ten years to make a difference.
Culture 3: Action Over Everything
The leaders driving this culture are the younger generation. To somewhat rebel against the bureaucratic way, young people take this approach.
Action over everything culture also takes some helpful things leaders do in knowledge over everything. However, they think they can do it much better. And to be honest, they have proven themselves right.
Action over everything shows bureaucratic leaders that the involvement of everyone is better. With everyone contributing towards shaping the culture, you end up with a better mission. You also have employees that feel that they can be open with one another and share their ideas.
What this culture borrows from culture 2 is the constant seeking for knowledge and ideas. However, they do not like having it all in their heads. Instead, why not try it. Just because someone more knowledgeable has doubts, that should not stop you from trying it.
Culture 3 also allows for more agile working. After all, it is not about following rigid processes (bureaucratic) or getting things right (meritocracy). Instead, it is about trying new things and having the courage to learn through experience.
As someone who reads loads of leadership articles every day, I can tell you that this is the leader most people are advising you to become. They want you to be a leader that encourages collaboration, trying new ideas and embracing everyone.
However, I do not think this is the leader everyone wants. Leaders who value action over everything will do well in the future and certainly have a great start to becoming the leader everyone wants. But, the kind of leadership we need today is closer to all of our hearts.
Feelings Over Everything
Unfortunately, thanks to social media and constant distancing from others, we are starting to see a gap in our organisations. People no longer want to be encouraged to take action. Instead, they want to be self-motivated to do so.
We want to feel as though our leaders care. We want to feel as though our work is valuable. We want to feel as though our work is purposeful. Things like salary, competence and collaboration will always be critical. But today, we want to feel those things.
A good example of this is we know collaboration is good. However, when you sit in your team meetings, do you feel like it is good. For most of us, the answer is no.
Many are dissatisfied with their jobs not because their work is not valuable or their leaders are not good enough. It is because they do not have an emotional connection to the work they do.
Becoming the Leader Everyone Wants
The kind of leaders we need today are not those who tell us what to do. We also do not want leaders who value our competencies over everything. Yes, we embrace leaders who motivate us to take action and shape the company culture. However, the leaders we need are those who can make us feel something.
You become the leader everyone wants by sparking in them self-motivation. In other words, we need leaders that can inspire us.
Once you have learned how to inspire others, you will become the leader everyone wants in their lives. There is not one person who is not drawn to the energy of inspiration.
I hope this article was informative and helped you identify what type of leader you might be. I will be writing a follow up to this article, so keep your eyes open.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.