October 6, 2020 In The News

The Meaning Of Leadership Is Evolving

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The Meaning of Leadership is Evolving by Dennis Cook

No matter what industry you work in, one thing is certain: We are in an age of great transformation. Whether the changes include modifying processes to stay up to date with digital enhancements or adjusting company culture to increase transparency and meet employees’ needs — leaders are looking for ways to better satisfy consumers, employees and partners. To truly grow as a company, leaders of today need to evolve themselves.

Diversity At The Top

Companies are most successful when they embrace diversity in gender, race, perspective and personalities. Businesses that go from an all-male or all-female leadership team to an even mix of gender could see an increase in revenue of around 41%, according to a study co-authored by an MIT researcher. Another study showed that after studying 1,700 companies, those who had a diverse team had 19% higher revenue than those who didn’t. Having a healthy mix of leaders has been proven to lead to more creative ideas, more efficient problem-solving and better financial achievements.

In addition to diversity in gender, race and personalities, leadership also needs to be diverse in age. Over the past five years, companies have made huge strides in increasing diversity, but business leaders still need to break free from outdated stereotypes in order to continue the progression. Take, for example, the notion that older generations have about millennials. For years, millennials have gotten a miserable rap for being a group of “lazy,” “sensitive” individuals. In the next two years, it’s expected that half of the workforce will comprise millennials. With these numbers only projected to increase, millennials must be developed and empowered to take on leadership positions.

Great Ideas Come From All Levels

Great ideas don’t just come from the higher-ups. The most innovative ideas come from all levels within an organization. From the interns to the C-suite, all employees have unique understandings of a company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for growth. In order to harness these unique POVs, leaders need to communicate with employees one-on-one to learn their individual thoughts on the business and the challenges in the marketplace. The best quarterbacks know exactly where every player is on the field, so leaders need to listen to that feedback at every level and give it unbiased consideration.

Creating Camaraderie And Trust

Leadership is not just a job title but a characteristic. Every leader should ask themselves: Are people following me because they have to, or because they want to? Great leadership is about creating a supportive, trusting and rewarding environment within an organization where employees are empowered to grow, develop and build confidence in themselves.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus caused a large share of the U.S. workforce to convert to home offices. What was initially thought to be a temporary situation, has proven to be a longer-term solution. As the majority of Americans still work from home, it is more vital than ever for managers to trust their employees to complete the job at hand. When employees feel trusted, they are more likely to thrive.

In an innovative company, leaders are constantly faced with new and evolving problems, but by creating a culture focused on constructive feedback, trust and camaraderie, an effective leader can breed tenacious, top-performing talent who are motivated to diversify their skill set, work as a team and solve problems together.

In short, good leaders have three very important jobs. The first is to build the strongest team possible. The second is to set a clear vision and direction for the company. And the third is to make sure everyone in the company has the confidence and drive to get there. If you can accomplish these things, you can develop an overcome mindset within the organization and achieve great things in this age of transformation.

Read more at Forbes.com

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