Part of the pleasure of writing is interviewing people to gather information and for inspiration. When writing Raise Your Leaders™ I interrogated many leaders about how leadership is changing to meet the needs of the changing world. Here are some stimulating comments:
- There is less authoritarian leadership now and more questioning.
- It is more of a challenge.
- Respect is not given by authority, but earned through action.
- It is more inclusive and less hierarchical.
- There is more emphasis on developing greater relationships and not on what an organisation is doing, but how.
- It is less of a label and now a more consultative role that uses your attributes.
- Leadership is finding the right place for each person. A leader should seek and encourage those with potential whilst not ignoring those with lesser skills, instead rewarding them for their commitment, energy and passion.
- We need to breed leaders who are critical thinkers and holistic in their approach.
Leadership of yesterday will not be entirely appropriate for leaders of tomorrow. Whilst the principles of leadership (values, integrity, empathy, flexibility) remain constant, the playing field does not. Leadership development will be more about self-development, driving one’s own development, rather than expecting a leader or organisation to drive you. New skills and competencies, i.e. technical learning, will be equally important, but the need for mental and emotional maturity will become more vital in the complex environment of work. Getting leadership training will no longer be sufficient. An individual needs to take the information, process it, use it and make it their own. When implementing our leadership and performance training models I get great satisfaction from seeing how delegates rise up to the challenge, embrace the opportunity and add their own personal stamp to the theory.
Tomorrow’s leadership model will focus on collaboration in a collective process, highlighting what is needed and then providing it. Leadership needs to focus on innovation, constantly evolving to develop a work force that can face the future with confidence and competencies. Technology institutes the change, and those who embrace them will fare better than those who resist.
The most valuable currency of a team lies in the confidence of the members, and it is the responsibility of the leader to build this confidence, especially in times of change, when confidence can be knocked. Never underestimate the value of confidence. Work hard to build your own, and importantly, the confidence of those around you, whether you are in a leadership role or not.