There are those who think that leadership has not changed at all from generation to generation. Sure, they might have thought otherwise, but the change to them is still not that significant. It cannot be denied that different styles of leadership can reflect cultural norms, but they have actually changed a lot in the last 10 years.
In fact, leadership has not only changed but also shifted in the 21st century due to technology, especially since the latter has affected many aspects of people's lives. And as time goes on, this will continue to change and evolve.
With that said, it is imperative for leaders to entertain the idea of embracing newer leadership styles. This is most notably the case if they want to be effective in a modern workplace setting. Here's a quick look at how leadership has changed in recent years.
Shifting From Autocracy
Autocratic leadership became a thing since time immemorial, but its essence was really established in the 20th century. In an autocratic leadership style, management is expected to make and perform all decisions. As such, little to almost zero input can be expected from employees. These decisions, in particular, are primarily based on the views and experiences of a manager. Nowadays, however, workplaces have started to embrace the idea of being collaborative. Instead of becoming full authoritarian, managers tend to favour the views and/or opinions of their workers.
It is worth noting that all core qualities that make a leader great remain the same. However, there is an increase in flexibility right now when it comes to the acceptance of different leadership styles. Startups and/or small businesses are not only open and accepting, but they are also more results-focused now than before. Due to these changes, leaders are more than capable of leveraging their creativity in order to achieve success.
While some companies are fond of engaging in different leadership styles, they are all about combining them in an attempt to account a certain team's unique qualities. In other words, leaders are now more aware of the differences in an employee's learning style and personalities. Even more so, they adapt their leadership according to these differences.
Technology and Its Crucial Role
The Internet has undoubtedly affected the way leaders handle their teams. For instance, some employees love to work from home. Managing this remote workforce is definitely a challenge, but leaders have learned to adapt and embrace the idea of constant communication.
Technology has indeed affected every aspect, from the way employees reach out to each other to leaders using available evaluation tools. And while technology can make leadership a breeze, its success ultimately relies on a manager's ability to use it well. Otherwise, the leadership can become disjointed, leading to an ineffective team.
The Importance of Transparency
This is perhaps the most significant change that leadership has witnessed over the years. More and more leaders in different industries have learned the importance of transparency. They now acknowledge the fact that it really pays to be more open and transparent with employees, especially when things concern the company and the team.
Leaders who are not open to discussing challenges facing their business, or the picture they paint doesn’t match the team’s day-to-day experience, the gap can create a loss of trust. Once that trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to rebuild.
About the author:
Anirudh is the founding editor at Lifedotme, writer and a content syndicator with a decade of corporate experience in the Software/Technical services industry. He does not like describing himself in the third-person and had a hard time coming up with these two sentences!
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