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What Does Modern Leadership Really Mean?

ByJason Richmond,
business.com writer
|
Jul 05, 2018
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> Human Resources
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Does a new workforce require new leadership styles?

There's no doubt that most of the conversations in the business world seem to center around the ever-changing needs, behaviors and characteristics of the current – and future – employee bases.

For some time now, this has been a major focus for companies looking to better understand their potential hires and, in turn, how those people will impact their organizations.

But what about the leaders? It makes sense that if the employee base is evolving, then surely so must the leadership? Turns out, that is exactly what's happening.

As organizations embrace the millennial evolution that is taking place, they're seeking new leadership styles that 10 years ago wouldn't have been considered necessary, or even effective.

Here are four leadership styles that are emerging in our modern workforce.

Innovative

These leaders don't just think "outside of the box," they also hire outside of it – and expect the same from their recruits. Innovative leaders have a focus on the big picture with an understanding that to achieve the next big thing, there is a significant need for risk-taking.

What does this look like? You'll likely find fewer protocols and processes happening under the leadership of an innovator and, instead, a push toward seeing what successes shake out from unorthodox approaches.

Servantile

Exactly as it sounds, servant leaders ensure the overall happiness and success of their employees. Servant leaders invest both personally and professionally in their team members: getting to know them better, what their ultimate goals are and how they can help employees achieve those goals. This comes across through mentorship programs, company training sesssions and continuous education, often on behalf of the company.

Empathetic

Easily one of the most debated topics currently, the trend toward increasing empathy in leadership, let alone in today's culture, has two very opinionated sides. That said, for companies that do appreciate and strive for empathetic leadership, the ability to listen and understand employees ultimately improves the workplace culture for more productivity and, in turn, success.

Committed to diversity

Finally, it's the leaders who are persistently on the lookout for diversity that will create big leaps forward for organizations. Those with the ability to look beyond the normal outlets for new hires – and successfully recruit people from all walks of life – have an innate understanding that with diversity comes fresh perspectives. Typically at the forefront of social injustice and movement for change, these leaders aren't willing to stray from their belief that welcoming everyone – regardless of sex, religious beliefs, ethnicity or sexuality – only enhances the culture and growth of the company.

There are, of course, other traits that are becoming mainstays in the business world. Companies are embracing flexible workforces in their efforts toward offering a better work-life balance, and as always, the best leaders will always value healthy communication, leading by example, and employee empowerment.

It's exciting to see the changes coming from the most successful companies around the world. With more millennials continuing to enter the workforce, there will no doubt be more transformations in leadership practices coming our way.

Jason Richmond
Jason Richmond
See Jason Richmond's Profile
My ongoing goal of continual growth started with one objective - to learn from everyone and apply those lessons to my life. My life is dedicated to understanding how I can better help others, and that’s why I’ve travelled all over the world. To take a step back, it all started with Dale Carnegie. I took the Carnegie course after three years in Australia and embraced the methods and philosophies behind it. I embraced them so much, in fact, that I dedicated my life to them. I became a partner with Dale Carnegie because I saw the impact the program had on careers around the globe. It was a genuinely enlightening moment in my professional life. In fact, it was a legitimate moment of clarity. This path led me to become a consultant for various organizations, acting as an HR partner as I developed partnerships for my clients. I had the opportunity to travel the world and work with amazing people everywhere. But why Carnegie? My passion is to learn and share what I’ve discovered. It’s to take away an experience from every situation and apply it to my life and the lives of my team members. You won’t learn if you remain stationary, and I want to learn and grow. Ultimately, my position now is a way for me to provide for people and make their lives better. I do so by uniting individuality and fostering outstanding culture. I’d rather be a leader than a pusher because people respond positively to it. After all, if I’m not energized and committed, why should my team be? I am who I am because of because I’ve had the opportunity to be a student of different cultures around the world. I don’t see myself as a CEO. I don’t see myself as an executive. I see myself as a resource for my team and my clients. If I can’t serve them, I’m not doing my job. And if I can’t serve you, I can’t say I’m doing my job, either.
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