Although some of the qualities that are required of a good leader are still the same, the way they do their jobs has changed a great deal in the last twenty years. Leaders are more people-oriented now, and they do more than manage employees. They are effective communicators and they inspire the teams under them. Continue reading to learn how leadership has evolved over the years.
Leadership Was Formerly Autocratic and Task-Oriented
In the past, leadership was autocratic. They managed employees by making sure that they did the job they were told to do, and there were no exceptions. In addition, it was based on tasks. Leaders were expected to make sure that employees accomplished the tasks they were assigned, and the goal was this alone. Managers made all of the decisions then, and the employees had very little input. They were clear about what needed to be done, and the focus was on skills and completions.
Leadership Today Is Rooted in People and Collaboration
Leadership has evolved over the years, and the world is completely different today. There is a great deal of technology that wasn’t available twenty years ago, and it continues to develop at a rapid pace. Leaders need to be more adaptable today so they are ready to implement new technologies that make work more efficient.
In addition, they take a collaborative approach to leadership where employees are encouraged to be more innovative and creative. This is necessary in the world today because consumers expect more. The world is more interconnected, and people know what is happening.
Companies today need a leader who understands that people want teamwork, productivity, meaning, and purpose in their work. Soft leadership skills are essential. Leaders need to focus on making sure that people feel good in their jobs and have the tools they need to succeed, so leadership is more people-oriented than task-oriented.
The older style of management made it fairly simple to identify future leaders, as they could be developed from within. They needed a skill set that was easier to measure. Today, it is more complicated. The key for companies is in finding competent, motivated employees who are adaptable and flexible and try to develop them. The skills they need go beyond simple work experience; they need excellent communication and problem-solving skills. They need to resolve conflicts rather than end them. The role of leaders has changed greatly, and it will continue to evolve.