The leadership evolution is an interesting one. Leadership styles have evolved as more research is conducted; more insight is gained into what works and what doesn’t, as people get savvier and more intelligent and as times become more challenging.
One thing remains throughout the evolution and that is the need for leadership. People naturally look to leaders to guide them through life and look to different leaders for different things. And each leader leaves a footprint behind.
I remember my first leaders (err managers really) when I went into the finance industry. They were autocratic, very masculine, very demanding and well, putting it in a nice way, not all that consultative. It was their way or the highway and if you didn’t like it tough! Some would call it decisive! But hey, the job got done, people were promoted and business boomed.
Fast forward to leadership of this decade, the trend is for leaders to be very consultative, to delegate tasks, to trust, to be more flexible and to be more balanced between the masculine and the feminine or at least it’s better.
It’s a stark contrast from the 80’s to now and I think the concept of leadership has become a little clouded in the quest to engage and consult for opinion. While the style of leader is definitely better (I think that generations have a lot to do with this), leaders seem to be less decisive, less sure of what they stand for and have lost sight of the vision they had for themselves and for their business.
The leadership style of now and the footprint needed is empowerment. Genuine and authentic empowerment of people. Where influence, conversation, decision making and ageless thinking is absolutely necessary to get us through to the next decade and beyond. We now have over three generations of people in a workplace now. This is the first time in history this has ever been the case. We need to disrupt our current way of thinking and create a new footprint.
We need to be smarter, have clarity in our direction and our values and understand our people, our stakeholders our followers will be the ones who can make the biggest difference for you, if you evolve for them. Now.