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These 500 words on Leadership Development is for all leaders and managers who are interested in supporting their people through challenging times
“I call on all you ‘Leaderless Leaders’. The future of leadership is entrenched in our very human essence.”
In December, whilst coming back from the HR Excellence Awards in Berlin, I found myself pondering on the fourth industrial revolution and how leadership is evolving. I had spent the previous evening surrounded by inspiring individuals who were being awarded for the impact they had on their organisations.
The recipients of each award had, in one way or another, achieved excellence within their company. They had energised, encouraged and galvanised their workforce. Their methods of working were all different but each one had been a positive force for good.
Within any leadership or impactful role we talk a lot about the need for softer skills such as demonstrating empathy, vulnerability and fear. These are all vital in today’s business environment. Fading fast into the lexicon of leadership history is the need to exercise strict Control and Dominance.
If you look up Leadership in the dictionary, synonyms included are authority, rule and control. But also listed are guidance, direction and influence.
In my mind we are moving away from the ‘old’ leader. We are, in fact moving towards ‘Leaderless Leadership’. We do not need Leaders. We need Humans. This is a paradigm shift in the way leadership in companies needs to be conducted.
An evolved style of leadership, my newly coined ‘Leaderless Leadership’, needs to be nurturing and communicative. Have insight into others and understand how your colleagues feel. Empathise and support them. Check in with them and encourage team bonding and communication.
This is especially relevant as we now exist in an era of disruption with technological advances affecting our modern business environment.
We face an unparalleled challenge of adapting to a rapid rate of change as digitalisation gains pace, with speed and adaptability the keys to survival.
We tend to find start-ups are changing their style of leadership to adjust to this change but established companies are the ones who need to actively pivot from traditional leadership methods as they keep up with the fast pace of the digital economy.
Leadership in the modern era has moved past the traditional values of hierarchy, annual reviews and other antiquated policies.
We now operate in an increasingly ‘technology-first’ world. Those guiding their teams and organisations effectively are able to coordinate between different groups, recognise the need for stronger cross-organisation cohesion and general inclusiveness that leads to a greater sense of camaraderie.
Gone is the need for silo walls as these only lead to a sense of competition or even adversity among groups. Relationships and communication with everyone in the organisation, rather than just individual departments, helps teams work more effectively toward a common goal.
“There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
In this world of ‘Leaderless Leadership’, teams become malleable, adaptable and learn to pivot easily.
So, I call on all you ‘Leaderless Leaders’. The future of leadership is entrenched in our very human essence. Rethink the way you view inclusion, cooperation and communication. Drive your business forward with a human-first approach. Be Human.
Dr Marcus Gottschalk
CEO at CLP