A team’s functionality is largely dependent on its leadership. While the fundamental principles behind good leadership still remain the same, leadership is changing to accommodate the evolving workforce. Here are just a few ways that leadership is becoming more proactive and less rigid.
Inspiration is the New Authority
In the past, employees were expected to obey their manager blindly. In recent years, we’ve learned that this type of situation creates a toxic environment and actually inhibits productivity. Instead, leaders now try to inspire their team members in a more positive manner. A leader’s ability to influence the actions of others without giving direct orders produces a well-working team that can accomplish more together. Being a leader means making sacrifices to put the well-being of the team first.
Building Trust is Essential
Teams work better together when they can trust their leader and each other. The best way to build trust is through communication, so today’s leaders are trying to be more open and forthcoming with information. The process works best, when the leader can exhibit empathy for his team members in the workplace setting. This creates an atmosphere in which each team member feels encouraged to share thoughts and ideas. Collaboration on this scale is the best way to build bonds between team members and with members of leadership. Even in an office environment that doesn’t allow for much collaboration, the long-term effects on office culture are critical.
Understanding Diversity
The modern workplace is becoming more and more diverse. Because of this, it’s important to accommodate for differences in perspective, culture, and ability. In the past, employees were expected to abide by the ideals of the majority—but this is no longer the case. Today’s most successful leaders must be aware that there are differences which may affect the work environment. By attempting to understand those differences, progressive leaders can create a more positive experience for everyone. What’s more, differing perspectives on a team can lead to better performance and ideas.
Making Quick but Thoughtful Decisions
The digital revolution created a global marketplace for every business. This means competition forces leaders to make quick decisions on a daily basis, but it also means they must make wise decisions. The internet and social media allow for consumers to see how a leader’s business decisions affect society. For this reason, making snappy decisions can lead to adverse consumer reactions. Ethical, environmental, and humanitarian concerns must influence each decision, even though prolonged thought on any matter could end up costing the business money. Contingencies should be in place while evolving the company, allowing for leaders to act quickly without compromising ethics or similar concerns.
Overall, the best leaders are those who build strong relationships with employees and with consumers. By acting with integrity and influencing others in a positive way, leaders can achieve their goals more readily. Developing communication skills and possessing a willingness to share can help any leader improve their effectiveness.