This is new era where things changing at every nano seconds and everybody is running to match it.. Our wide world become a super global village more accessible more relevant more exclusive and more excited.. The world of work is also rapidly changing around us, ideas and technologies that were once considered fads and ‘nice to haves’ – are now edging their way to the fore front of how businesses grow – and for a large number of organisations, defining the very culture and values of the working environment.
Traditional business acumen and sound judgement will always play a large part in a person’s ability to lead a work force. However with a new suite of demands from customers, colleagues and competitors coming into play, what skills does the new age executive really need in order to lead a company into the heart of the 21 century?
The ability to form, articulate and lead a vision has always been essential; however there is a sudden rise in talented employees choosing a company to work for based on the purpose and goals of the business. Having a clear and meaningful vision to buy into, will attract top talent to your organisation.
The concept of thought leadership is a relatively new thing, but the idea of other businesses and customers wanting to work with you based on iconic people within your organisation has always been real, we just have better platforms for sharing it now. Having someone in your business deliver a TEDx talk or give a keynote at a significant industry event is gold dust from a brand profile point of view. So having the knowledge and personality to really champion your company when the time comes is vital.
Transparency, trust and honesty; all words that are being used more and more frequently in modern day business. The reason for this is simple, people who have context to their work, do a better job. They can make better decisions about the direction of their work and they will be more motivated, as they can attach the task to the result. A leader who can create open discussion around work tasks, listen to feedback from employees and provide useful information in return – will provide their staff with greater context and meaning, and will get better results for it.
If you don’t think you need some level of technical knowledge or appreciation these days, you’re on the way out. I got tired of IT managers proudly telling me ‘they weren’t technical’ a long time ago. Having an understanding of the technology your business is built on, whether it be the apps and software you sell to your customers, or the websites and social networks you use to acquire 90% of your new business… you must know how to engage in those conversations.
In addition to that you must also be able to apply some competent level of design and creativity. User/customer experience now spreads across all platforms; on-line, off-line and face-to-face. Knowing the importance of creating a delightful and consistence experience across all three is a very important feature of your business.
Nobody wants to work for a slave driver, nor do they want to look up at their managers as if they are kings and queens, and not to be interrupted.
Coming back to the idea of honesty among colleagues and customers, your staff want to know who you are, and better yet they want to know that you know who they are! Feeling connected to your business and removing that fear of hierarchy is the secret ingredient to healthier, happier working cultures. Work will only ever be as good as the relationships of the people doing it.
Your company must have tangible values that steer the behaviour of its staff. Knowing what makes a happy customer or an engaged employee, then championing the behaviours that got you there is the winning ticket.
Importantly, in order for your values and behaviours to be genuine and effective, the leaders of a business must buy in to them and live by them. As soon a culture of double standards begins to emerge, good staff start leaving. So don’t just promote the values of the business but shine a light on the people and the outcomes that do well by them, and empower everyone to call each other out when they are ignored… even if it is the CEO!