Leading The Way
Updated: May 5
Leadership. An invaluable quality on any team, in any industry, and executing on any project. However, leading the way in general and good leadership in particular is an evolving practice. Recent years have brought great change and uncertainty worldwide but the need for great leaders remains. Today, let’s talk about the future of good leadership.
A concept that has been around for some time but gained traction in recent years is emotional intelligence. Studies have shown that managers who lead with empathy are more likely to develop high levels of trust with their employees.
Leaders with high emotional intelligence are more self-aware and able to recognize the impact they have on others.
This can help their teams feel more empowered to ask questions and present ideas as well as foster respect and effective communication… a win all around.
Speaking of respect, humility is an incredibly valuable trait for leaders in any sphere.
A leader who is not humble can be spotted a mile away: they make everything about them, and value their own opinions and contributions to the exclusion of those of others. While there are certainly talented leaders out there, demonstrating humility not only gives the rest of the team the freedom to contribute but it often allows for new and innovative solutions. When the leader is humble, their team is empowered to work their hardest because they know that the work they do is valued and significant, not just a sideshow to the plans and ideas of their boss.
In the interest of fostering team talent and providing a platform for the team to contribute, there is little quite so important as providing effective feedback.
The modern and future leader should serve as a mentor to their team, encouraging creativity and growth of each team member.
In order to do this, they must be able to provide meaningful and effective feedback on the efforts of their team. Remember to provide feedback that will resonate with the individual and drive them towards a desirable outcome. Above all, feedback should be constructive and actionable, or it’s no better than criticism.
Continuing on the topic of team growth, it is important to genuinely care about the team members themselves.
Employees are more than the sum total of work they can produce and are subject to emotional and mental factors that can enhance or impact what they are capable of.
Team-building activities and other rewards can help combat burnout, and by both setting a good example and implementing policies to encourage physical and mental health in the workplace, a leader can build trust with the team that they are looking out for the team’s best interests.
Lastly, a leader ready for the future is one who grows themself and those around them.
Not only should a leader keep their own skills sharp and try to seek out and master new skills, but they should also provide the same opportunities to their team members, including granting leadership opportunities to those below them. It doesn’t have to be complex and could simply be leadership of a small project, workshop, or training but giving the team the opportunity to take on greater responsibility can help motivate and grow their skills.
While tomorrow’s leaders may have their work cut out for them, there are numerous ways to improve leadership skills and help grow a team. With emotional intelligence, humility and respect, powerful feedback, and a focus on the wellbeing and growth of both the team and oneself, leadership of the future is within your reach.