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Fostering Future Leadership - A Must To Sustain A Successful Business And Boost Economic Recovery

Fostering Future Leadership - A Must To Sustain A Successful Business And Boost Economic Recovery

Traditional workplace practices and values have been challenged and undermined by a new, more empowered generation of enthusiastic employees in this more digital modern age.

Employees are less inclined to blindly follow a top-down management structure: they have much higher expectations of those who lead their workplace organisations. To retain and nurture the best talent for your business and guarantee its future sustainability, demonstrating a quality leadership skill set that reflects these enhanced expectations is non-negotiable. It is time for every modern business to adopt a critical appraisal of their existing leadership styles and sacrifice or re-align those practices that no longer drive motivation, innovation, loyalty, and economic recovery. While leadership styles will differ, the more essential hallmarks of effective leadership are always the same.

This generation of employees need coached, not just instructed

In much of the developed world there is a culture of instant gratification and quick returns. This can be reflected too in the workplace where investment in employees’ development takes a back seat to short-term profit. Leaders should take time to mentor their staff, affording them the opportunity to contribute to team decision-making and manage projects, where appropriate, with senior supervision and supportive coaching. Coaching is most effective when carried out in real time as everyday happenings of business life unfold. Giving regular daily feedback and direction to staff on the field of play is much more effective than a bi-annual staff appraisal session. Regularly demonstrating good practice at the point of action, acknowledging a job well done or constructively correcting aspects less well done provides a more relevant, meaningful learning experience than any staff training organised event. Direct personal investment in our workforce is imperative in these challenging times. Perhaps the greatest legacy a successful leader can leave behind is that he mentored even greater leaders. Such an approach drives employees’ career purpose, fosters increased job satisfaction, motivation and loyalty to the business as well as producing future leaders who will help boost our economic recovery.

Set an example-Be authentic

Authenticity should be the backbone of any leader. It is an easily discernible trait in the workplace. Employees do not trust a leader whose intentions and motives are being constantly second guessed. Be transparent about the why behind business initiatives that impact on staff. This will elicit a much better response even when the outcomes prove challenging. As a leader, it is not possible or even necessary to have all the answers or expertise. Appropriately bowing to an employee’s acumen in an area of expertise demonstrates respect and trust in an employee’s ability and highlights a humility that earns a leader greater respect. Being a leader who is also willing to acknowledge past mistakes and lessons learned, fosters a more honest, supportive work ethos and culture. Taking a genuine interest in staff and listening without making assumptions, lets staff know that they are valued and promotes loyalty and goodwill. Loyalty and goodwill is essential as the business adapts to the current economic climate.

Role model consistency

Cross-functional, more diverse teams and flatter organisational structures characterise many more innovative, modern businesses. Being at the helm of such organisations poses challenges for any leader. It takes great emotional courage and backbone to ensure that consistent standards and values are upheld without favouritism or exception throughout the organisation regardless of the employee’s position or even the revenue they generate. Any organisational values or standards that are let slide will gradually undermine and erode staff trust and morale. It is best to confront any inappropriate staff behaviour at the earliest possible opportunity to safeguard the safety and welfare of all employees and business stakeholders. Doing this with discretion requires a leader of higher emotional intelligence and moral fortitude. Such a leader gains credibility and trust and inspires our future leaders to emulate such standards of excellence.

Over 25 years and going strong!

Over 25 years and
going strong!