Be a change leader

July 24, 2018

How drastically times have changed. Most of us would believe that concepts like leadership do not change with time. But the reality could not be farther away from this belief. The scenario has changed significantly in the past few years, as today’s youngsters have different perceptions and attitudes towards work culture, and it will continue to evolve. To be operative in the ‘up-to-date’ workplace, entrepreneurs should understand how to grasp new leadership styles and how they can positively motivate their subordinates.

A great leader should have multiple leadership styles in her toolkit, and she should be adept at diagnosing situations and using the right style at the right time.

Traditionally, most organizations followed the autocratic system—the top management took all the decisions and the employees were hardly involved. Decisions are built based on the manager’s views and understanding, and they have complete control over the team.

However, today, workplaces are found to be more inclusive than authoritarian. It is a friendly atmosphere and there is a healthy bonding between managers and employees. Managers engage with employees, and there is a culture of weekend celebrations, organizing fun activities, and other platforms where employees can interact with each other. Many startups emerging these days are more accepting and goal-oriented than ever before, giving a free hand to the employees to use their creativity. Companies also organize meditation sessions for employees, which help them rejuvenate. Such initiatives go a long way towards achieving employee satisfaction and yield better results in terms of goal achievement. Such a culture was not prevalent traditionally, but is quite common today. The young generation is largely in favor of, and feels comfortable working in, such kind of work environment.

move towards democratic leadership

There are many ways of keeping employees happy and motivated—involve them in business activities and decision-making as much as possible and make the best use of their creativity. Those at the helm should start to become more alert of how differences in employees’ qualities and learnings affect their response to leadership.

Budding entrepreneurs and youth with innovative minds and ideas, who aspire to become future leaders, must understand some key factors: how do you inspire people? How do you ensure that their contribution helps you achieve your objectives? How do you provide them the conditions to grow and flourish?

Your duty as manager today should be to generate such an atmosphere that enthuses and values the contribution of every person to the group effort. Your employees’ energies should be directed towards problem-solving, job efficiency, and accomplishment of the set targets.

Your company should be focused on providing the best suited conditions and work environment that enable your people add value to the organization. Today’s youngsters have to be good leaders as well, for which management skills are necessary.

One should know about her employees’ strengths and interests; this is the foremost step in boosting leadership. Instead of focusing on weaknesses most of the time, start emphasizing on strengths. Discuss these with them, understand where their interests lie, what projects they would like to work on, and so on.

No one likes to work in a vacuity. A smart leader knows how the hard work of employees helps the organization achieve success. This can be done through both tangible and intangible means—appreciation in front of the whole team, or perhaps recognition in the form of a memento or prize, or simply, rewarding them in monetary terms. This invokes a sense of pride in them and they feel more motivated and committed to do better, and give results more efficiently next time.

An important factor that can bring you close to your employees is transparency. Leaders in every business are learning that it benefits to be open with employees about the company, tell them about the success, achievements, new projects, and whatever the company, the team, and the individual are doing. In today’s world, you should be inclined towards building a more engaged and productive environment for your people. You should inspire them to achieve higher numbers, create a sense of belonging towards the company, and motivate them to work in unity. You must go out there among the team and provide them with all the relevant data they need in order to succeed.

Another very important quality a manager must possess is time management. Make sure that you work on the deadlines and allow all the tasks to be completed effectively and efficiently. Setting your aim and prioritization of things are important mechanisms, and so are scheduling and decentralizing the work among your subordinates. Finally, being productive with time generates a lot of opportunities and you also get space to improvise on your work, and rectify mistakes if any. In the end, it is all about optimizing for the best results.

Managers and leaders can make their work easier and convenient through the use of tools such as the internet. Incorporating technology helps in having control over the employees and also facilitates effective communication with the team.

Technology literally influences and impacts everything from internal and external communication to the assessment tools accessible to leaders. It can help get in touch with employees who are not present at the workplace, and keep track of how much they are performing and if they are moving in the right direction or not. You can connect with them through mobile apps and emails.

To be truly operative, a leader must teach trust and build a community among team members. The team’s ability to exceed the expected goals depends essentially on developing an environment of openness within the various departments, with a certain amount of liberty given to the employees to express themselves freely without any fear. In such an environment, employees can develop their skills and the organization can grow.


* when ego takes a back seat by John Knights, The Smart Manager, May-Jun 2018