Everything about the workplace is changing. In just the last few years, the world has become even more interconnected and interdependent as social media platforms, mobile hotspots and Wi-Fi have become pervasive and nearly universal all across the globe. The way that each of us interacts with clients, our peers, colleagues, and even our competition, is changing as well. It should come as little surprise then that what we expect and need from leaders today, and in the future, is changing as well.
Rather than Power, Leadership Today is About Service and Cooperation
In the past, leadership structures tended to be hierarchal in nature. The entire concept of what it meant to be a leader was centred upon the title, or position held within an organisation. Leaders were appointed, and others were expected to follow without question.
In today’s highly innovative and competitive environment, we know that this type of leadership is not really effective. Today, most of us understand that leaders can be found at every level of a business.
Leadership today is no longer about wielding power and authority over others; it is about being able to encourage others to become part of a team where they are empowered to make the best use of their talents. Rather than controlling others, true leadership is about serving others.
The Keys to Surviving and Thriving Disruption is Diversity, Inclusiveness and Creativity
As technological innovations and increased social connectivity continue to disrupt the way that we work, the key to surviving and thriving is to surround yourself with people that you can collaborate with and inspire. As a leader, one of the most important questions that you should ask yourself is, who do I want on my team?
It’s imperative that the leaders are able to recruit and build teams that are diverse and inclusive when it comes to age, background, gender, culture, skills and interests. If you only surround yourself with people that look, act and think as you do, how do you expect to gain insight into what needs to be changed or improved?
How can you create a compelling vision for the future and inspire others to join your team and work with you to build something great if your style of leadership remains mired in the past and old ways of thinking and doing things?
The World Needs New Leaders – Where Will it Find Them?
According to the 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report, being able to recruit, train and retain effective leaders is an important concern of over 90% of organisations around the world. The same survey found that nearly a third of all organisations report that they have a weak to non-existent leadership pipeline, and only 14% have an effective leadership development plan in place to deal with the succession of existing leaders in the c-suite.
Whether it’s the boardroom, the local leadership in an office, or the directors of social institutions, it’s readily apparent that the entire world is in desperate need of new leaders that can inspire and motivate others and build great teams.
Opening the Door to More Leadership Opportunities
Important questions that today’s leaders should ask is, what can I and my organisation do differently to make it easier to find and recruit new leaders and create more leadership opportunities? What steps can I take to “open the door,” and be more inclusive and encourage greater diversity and creativity?
Each organisation will have different needs, and so will need to approach finding the answer to these questions in unique ways. Generally speaking, however, organisations can improve their chances of being able to find, develop and retain enough new leaders by taking the following steps to redesign their leadership development program.
- Be aware of conscious and unconscious bias and take formal action to increase inclusiveness and diversity. Rethink what it means to be a leader, and broaden your pool of potential leaders. Cast a larger net into your pool by rethinking what specific skills, and experiences, are the most important for leaders in your industry and organisation.
- Make it easier to identify potential leaders. Look for ways to decrease the obstacles that might traditionally stand in the way of others taking a leadership path. Offer leadership development opportunities including coaching and mentoring, earlier in their careers.
- Create a rigorous leadership program that provides new leaders with more opportunities to gain the skills and insight that they need to effectively lead. Encourage existing leaders to mentor new leaders, providing guidance and feedback to help with development and career advancement.
Is your workplace open, inclusive and diverse? Does your organisation have enough leaders? Are you ready to take the next step? Get in touch today and ask how we can help you create a leadership development program that goes beyond traditional training exercises and get results!
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