Traits of the Modern Leader pt. 2

Many of us of heard the old adage that people don’t leave bad organizations, they leave bad leaders. So, for an organization to succeed building great leaders should be a top priority.

The “master and commander” style leader is no longer relevant. Leaders now need to build authentic relationships with the people under their leadership. There are some particular traits or tools that will help leaders do this in a modern and relevant way.

This is part two of this discussion.

Leaders in our new age know they cannot possibly have all the answers on their own—they ask for other people’s input and opinions. They may even hire outside experts if no one in their organization has that particular skill set and/or knowledge.

Expressions of gratitude, especially in front of others, when a team member has contributed significantly to the vision of the company is a trait of this new kind of leader. This new kind of leader would also never take credit for the work of others.

On the other hand, if a team member is having a problem with a project this new kind of leader doesn’t waste time on blame, reproach or overacting out of frustration. Instead, the new leader helps team members solve their problems. They know the right kinds of questions to help the team member find their own way through their issues.

The new leader has a real interest in their team members lives outside of work so they can help team members reach their future goals and dreams. They understand their team members’ ambitions to help them best find their place and their way in the organization.

The new leader must find the right balance with each team member between being a mentor, cheerleader and coach and not being the old school task master.

New Traits of the Modern Leader pt. 1

Many of us of heard the old adage that people don’t leave bad organizations, they leave bad leaders. So, for an organization to succeed building great leaders should be a top priority.

The “master and commander” style leader is no longer relevant. Leaders now need to build authentic relationships with the people under their leadership. There are some particular traits or tools that will help leaders do this in a modern and relevant way.

A good modern leader should be able to recognize what that something special that every member of the organization has to offer. What is that person’s “brand”? How do I help the member turn that into something that benefits the whole organization? How do we nurture and integrate it?

Many people today (some might even wager most) do not like being micromanaged—and its debatable whether this style of leadership was ever all that effective.

Modern, effective leaders espouse a vision and inspire their people to se their role in achieving that vision. A modern, effective leader doesn’t waste their time running all over or sending emails to people on exactly what to do and how to do it. They will trust their team members to do the job they’ve been hired to do. They make this clear through their actions and empower  their team members to act.

The Difference Between Good and Bad Distractions

In a world obsessed with hyper-productivity and success it may be hard to believe that distractions could be a good thing.

Distractions are one of our primary coping mechanisms for dealing with physical pain. Not only that, but also mental pain such as anxiety. In children, pre-surgery anxiety is very common. In one study, three groups of children were studied for pre-surgery anxiety. There were three groups: one was given an anxiety medication; one group was given nothing; one group were given video games to play.

One study found the video game group to have the least amount of measurable anxiety. Another study found that adult patients given video games to play experienced 50% less pain during wound cleanings.

But clearly distractions are also bad at time.

In the workplace, in a group as the leader, is a particular person or group using a distraction as a means to avoid uncomfortable conversation, to avoid boring or challenging work, to disengage from useful problem solving? Maybe it’s OK for your employee to play Words with Friends for fifteen minutes to ease their anxiety about please an important client. Maybe some off-topic conversation at a creative meeting is just want the group needs to relax and be able to share the ideas they think might be good but are afraid of.

Is It Ever OK to Us Directive Leadership?

Directive leadership, basically a “dictator” style where the leader tells people what and how to do things, is no longer popular. So, is it ever OK to use this style?

When you organization is making a major change and people need to “get on board” is a time when the style might still be useful.  This is the point at which you ought to be more directive, revealing to them how to do it. As your colleagues learn and create, you will never again need to screen their work so nearly.

Later on when people are locked in on new policies, procedures etc. you can back off.

At the point when there is an issue or crisis, time is of the essence. You can’t bear to settle on choices by committee in these conditions. This is the place mandated administration truly sparkles.

Some other examples are if there is a situation where anyone’s well-being or security is at hand.

It is still a good idea to allow people to have their voices heard when using this leadership style even if there is no room for negotiation

Leadership Thoughts On The Even-More-Digital World: Part 3

Because collaboration is so important to creating value, a leader needs to be able to create support, negotiate, find partnerships and get through resistance to achieve the goal. But to make this work a leader needs integrity and cannot survive as pure politician. Customers and clients will only interact and make desire exchanges when they can trust an organization.

Organizations are also falling under increased regulatory scrutiny, here to a leader’s integrity is extremely important. In a data-based society trust must be part of the foundation of many relationships.

Because it is so easy to reach clients and customers across the world organizations have been held hostage and the ransom to conduct business is that they must think globally. “Locally” is anywhere one is doing business and understand the needs and values of each locality is an absolute must.

Specialized interactions that take into consideration even the most niche’ needs of potential partner or customer is no longer a marker of excellence but an expectation.

While the ideas here are generalized and certainly not exhaustive it is a solid base on which to build a new way to think about leading.

Leadership Thoughts On The Even-More-Digital World: Part 2

This new and digitized age also asks leaders to be hero whose superpower is both decisiveness and humility. They are needed in times of crisis to make bold decisions but they are also need to bring in people with, perhaps, very different backgrounds, skills and personalities. They need to be willing to learn from those who have less experience leading. They need to be inclusive; to be a good listener. They need to understand new technology but also how that new technology will touch and change all aspects of our society.

Continuing from this idea, it used to be that a leader could delegate away responsibilities concerning technology. New technologies can change the way an organization does everything. Therefore, a leader needs to understand how the technology will benefit the company.

Simultaneously a leader now needs to understand and care about people, how new technologies impact their lives. A great leader would bring his team together in such a way everyone walks away having a significant and far-reaching understanding of how something new will change everything, both in business and in their personal lives.

The purpose and value of an organization are very important in a world where disruption and change are constants.

Inside uncertainty, leaders who know very specifically what the purpose and values of the organization are can use them to guide the organization toward meaningful value creation. As the organization changes, the leader needs to be grounded in what its purpose and values. While purpose and values do change, they can serve as a foundation for everything else.

Leaders more than ever need to be willing to quickly and effectively try new things. But these experiments cannot come without limits Purpose and value provide those limits.