The world is constantly changing. In today’s digital and interconnected world, we’re seeing cultures from around the world collide. Technology makes instant communication possible, but it also brings new challenges that we have to deal with on a daily basis. The old concept of leadership—where a boss sits atop the ladder and barks orders to loyal underlings—has faded away. Today, bosses must be leaders who are open, honest, and understand context. Leaders who view themselves as part of a team instead of simply an authority figure. You’ll need to be comfortable adapting to new environments and experimenting with new techniques on the fly. The rigid bosses of old can’t find success in today’s workplace. Here’s how you can be a fresh new leader in today’s digital age.
Leadership Is Not Longer About Your Actions Alone, It Is Also About Your Values
One of the biggest mistakes that leaders make is thinking that their job is solely about actions. Did they make the right strategic decision? Did they make the right partnership? Leadership today isn’t about individual actions, it is about values. What do you value, and what is your character? You can take the right course of action and still have a team that is unhappy and unable to communicate openly—which is a toxic environment. But if you have the right values and produce an open environment, your team will have higher levels of happiness and productivity.
You Need To Have A Higher Level Of Self-Awareness
Do you have the self-awareness to know when you need to collaborate, and when you can handle a task alone? Are you comfortable delegating tasks, do you know when you need to ask for help? Having a higher level of self-awareness will help you better understand what you need to do in order to be a productive leader.
Today’s Leaders Must Understand Context And Nuisance
Today’s leaders must understand context. The same action in two different cultures can mean something totally different. This is important to recognize when leading team members from different cultures. It is also important to recognize nuisance in the workplace—a team member’s mistake during an internal training session is different than a mistake while working with a client in the field.
Leaders Must Be Adaptable And Skeptical Of Certainty
Poor leaders are often full of themselves and certain of specific outcomes. They will be certain that a specific project will fail, or that a particular team member isn’t up for the job. A good leader has a healthy amount of skepticism and doesn’t come to work completely certain of specific outcomes. Learn to keep an open mind even as you become more experienced.
Becoming a leader isn’t easy. But these are skills that you can work on and develop over time. Good leaders can become great over time if they recognize their strengths and weaknesses and devote time to improving their impact. Learning to be adaptable to new situations can be tough and extremely frustrating. But over time, you’ll learn better balance and self-awareness and be able to apply those lessons on the job.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.
* Changing World Successful Leader image credit goes to: Artem Bali.