As your industry keeps on changing, you need to make sure that you are changing with it. This also applies to your Leadership style. More recently, there seems to be a gap between traditional leadership styles and modern leadership styles of today. As our technology is quickly changing and evolving in its capacity, our ways of communicating are becoming faster. We are also seeing a shift in demographics world-wide. In Canada, the Baby Boomers are starting to retire and the workforce is being replaced by the Millennial generations.
According to Roselinde Torres, Senior Partner of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), there are certain leadership qualities that will always remain timeless, such as vision, ambition, integrity, courage, good judgement and intelligence – these are qualities that every good leader must possess. What is changing is how we interact at a leadership level – our processes of how we are going to run a great, and successful, organization. We need to consider new experiences and keep an open-mind about our leadership styles rather that stick with the saying, “well if it’s not broken, then why fix it”; a simple black and white motto. Leadership is much more than that.
How can we shift from a 20th Century Leadership style to a 21st Century Leadership style?
Here are 4 key characteristics that a modern leader needs – a 21st Century Leader:
- Stay current with the trends. Need to stay up-to-date with what is going on not only within your industry but within the business world. This will help you to look for those shifts, signals and patterns that will enable your organization to be proactive rather than reactive as the world around us changes.
- Be more than their Boss, be their Leader. As a Leader you need to be able to empathize and connect with your team. Don’t use your power to get things done, use your leadership. The 21st Century Leader will ‘influence based on values’. Do you have a set of core beliefs and values that guide your actions and decisions? Do others know what they are?
- Keep an open-mind. Know the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog a new trick’? Well break that! If you are going to be a 21st Century Leader you need to understand that what might have worked in the past, might not work for the future. In fact, it could even be damaging to your organization. Keep an open-mind about new ideas, new ways and new techniques.
- Continuous growth and professional development. This is key and not only for your team, but for you as well. This will help you to keep up with those trends; it will help you connect with your team; and it will also help you keep an open-mind about new ideas, new ways and new approaches. Take value in the fact that your team wants to learn and learn with them!