Who’s steering this ship anyway? The definition of leader is quite a bit different today than in the past. The reason? Technology. We are in a digital age my friends make no mistake. Every aspect of the business world is driven by technological advances and communication vehicles. We are a 24/7 society that expects immediate results and constant innovation.
Being led by the traditional leader that climbed the corporate ladder or depended upon tenure as the right to lead is becoming more and more a thing of the past. Being “lonely at the top” is a thing of the past too! Leaders are identified and mentored, not tapped and looked to for all the answers.
Therefore, leadership in 2017 must be held by those who understand that leadership team building depends on collaboration and not the individual. Leaders are collaborative team members who steer the ship with the help of others. This way of thinking must be embraced to align with the times and leverage the modern workforce.
High Tech Thirsts for High Touch
Technology can isolate, but human nature demands interaction with one another. This explains why technological advances, communication devices, have enabled us as humans to connect with one another MORE not less. On the outside, someone looking at their smartphone all the time is an introvert. However, that individual is most likely communicating with another person and has the ability to do so any day at any time of day, if so desired.
The need for “high touch” to compensate for our “high tech” world is the underlying reason the workforce strives for inclusion in the decision-making process and direct interaction with those in leadership roles (i.e. upper management). This explains why constant feedback is now required by the workforce and is often the key motivator for completing a task well.
The Ivory Tower is Long Gone
The 2017 leader must thrive on interaction with others. The days of “do this because it’s your job” and “don’t ask questions, just do your job” are slowly, but surely becoming a thing of the past.
Leaders need to acknowledge this and start to embrace the possibilities that can be gained by a collaborative work environment.
Traditional Leaders vs. New Leaders
There are significant differences between how traditional leaders have been developed in the past and how new leaders should be developed now and in the future. Below is a comparison of traditional leaders and new leaders:
- Discovered and assessed by experience, tenure and business performance (a.k.a. The bottom line)
- Should be discovered and assessed for agility, creativity and ability to lead and connect teams
- Climbed the ladder one rung at a time to “pay their dues”
- Should be identified early and given large responsibility and challenges to test and develop leadership skills
- Developed by training and professional development programs
- Should be developed through real-world projects and collaborative problem solving
Instead of identifying potential leaders, pulling them aside and enrolling them in management programs, the 2017 leader should nurture a future leader early and within a collaborative environment. Traditional leadership programs need to expand beyond the traditional “fast track” to the executive level. If changes are not made to existing traditional leadership programs, be prepared be left behind without a working rudder to steer the ship.
Check back in a couple of weeks for “How to Develop More Leaders in 2017 – Part 2” to find out:
- How to identify future leaders and how to harness their strengths
- My 10 top ways to develop leadership
Larry Lipman Coaches Organizations to Develop Leaders
Larry of Fun Team Building can help large groups, small groups, inside and outside with corporate group activities including stimulating exercises and innovative ways for people to connect better than ever before! Call Larry Lipman (770-333-3303) and plan a team building session that will help everyone not only get on the same page, but have fun doing it, too!