How have you developed as a leader?
If you’re a senior level executive who is middle aged, you probably came up through the ranks a bit, after education paved the way and experience opened doors.
If you’re a senior level executive who is of a younger generation, perhaps connections made while in school, or a strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit led you to where you are.
Over the years, the paths to titled leadership within an organization have differed a bit; skills once thought valuable are now less so, replaced by skills more highly valued in a new era. Traditional leadership traits emphasized the more hierarchical approach that was the norm. Short term, bottom line thinking; win-lose philosophies, especially as it came to employees; bureaucratic, crises driven thinking; all of these might have been terms to describe the traditional approach. Today’s leadership style might best be described as collaborative, where the focus becomes building relationships, both internally and externally, for the long haul.
Teamwork, processes, mission and values are words that describe the focus in a successful company, now.
I think it is no accident that we are seeing more women come to the forefront in highly visible leadership roles now. Speaking very broadly, their skillset is more collaborative, more supportive; less of the traditional approach, more of the current one. The current crop of recent college graduates is driving this momentum, as well. Their slightly older peers share an interest in work-life balance and finding a place that fits their values.
Values? Work-life balance? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it. Remember the good old days when the dollar drove every decision? The truth is, this is the new norm.
As you look to hire and mold new leaders for your organization, what leadership traits should you look for to ensure that those traits will be most valuable moving forward? I’m not sure there is a definitive answer, other than to value good decision making, communication and teambuilding skills. A strong leader will know when to pull people along, and when to push them.
What insights have you discovered about your organization in the last year? We’d love to hear your experiences!
It’s almost always easier for an outside consultant to help you find the right path forward. Our job, at Boxer Advisors, LLC, is to help you turn your insights into action. You know your business, we know how to make it stronger.
Boxer Advisors LLC is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.