If command and control is no longer the “norm” in modern forward looking companies, what is being used in its place? An article by John Coleman and Jim Whitehurst in HBR blog answered that question with 3 traits they see as valid to leaders in many businesses. While much of what they share is not new, it is a timely reminder of what is and is likely to remain important.
1. In a fluid market leaders need to be able to inspire and impart purpose. Engagement and retention of talent is a big issue for many companies and as the number of Millennials working in the workforce increases, this reflects a common perception: the Millennials want to be doing something of value. With short attention spans and a strong desire to contribute to something bigger than themselves the intergenerational shift is moving how leaders interact.
2. In a rapidly changing market, leaders must adapt and engage. This has long been recognised as being true. Staying still is tantamount to going backwards and to stay relevant and successful, business needs to embrace change and be better at implementing it successfully.
3. Leaders must be authentic. What they are talking about here is how leaders connect with their co-workers in a way that reveal their vulnerabilities and values. Our behaviour is visible to everyone whether at work or in our personal lives. This reflects the importance of social intelligence and how we respond to what we see when leaders interact with others.
While the article focuses on what the authors see as important to how leaders behave, the same traits are just as valid for everyone in the workplace regardless of status. We want to have purpose and meaning in the work we do, we want to be able to get along with and work well with others. Finally, using our increased brain awareness, we can develop and retain our sense of humanity in all our dealings with other people.
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