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Future of Leadership

In the slower moving and less complex business environments of times past, the old hierarchical leadership model that depended mostly on only a few people at the top for leadership simply doesn’t work anymore.

Future of Leadership

In today’s more volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous business battlefield, decentralized controls, and leadership through networks of people at all levels are imperative for success.

One person — or a few people — don’t have the time or resources to sift through mounds of company performance data, consider industry changes, evaluate the current economic environment, or track the competitor’s latest ventures. Nor do they have the time to disseminate the right data to the right people in real-time.

Organizations move too quickly for the old leadership model to be effective.

So, that means that if companies really want to move more quickly, have a flatter structure, and develop emerging leaders from within, then companies must start teaching team members how to lead.

Organizational structures and business cultures have to be one that empowers leaders. They must encourage people to take charge, attempt to lead, make mistakes, and continuously learn.

Systems and cultures designed to develop new leaders and truly empower them is the key to success in any 21st-century organization. The upside is almost endless.

  • Companies have more people leading at a lower payroll cost.
  • More people feel connected to their work, and who are inspired by those around them.
  • Senior leaders are actually getting to focus on visionary leadership rather than management.
  • Succession planning is easier because you don’t have to spend months looking for one person who can allegedly do-it-all.

Here are several ideas on developing this new brand of company leaders.

  1. Technical Expertise

You don’t need to be the world’s top expert on something in this new organizational model.  You will, however, be able to guide your team to better decisions if you have enough technical expertise in your relevant area of business.

  1. Integrity

Integrity is a core ingredient of job performance in any area of business. Leadership is no exception. And yet, if integrity were a norm among leaders, we would not live in a world where corporate scandals, fraud, and #MeToo are so ubiquitous.

One problem with integrity is that everyone thinks they have it. The best way to assess your level of integrity is to learn how others view you rather than the way you see yourself.

  1. Learning Ability

Irrespective of what you know, you will only be an effective leader if you are capable of learning more, particularly when knowledge and expertise become rapidly outdated and the complexity of problems continues to increase.

  1. Emotional Intelligence

Though widely celebrated, emotional intelligence (EQ) is often misunderstood. But the fact is that people who have more EQ generally are more successful.  They are more stable, empathetic, and better at reading and understanding employees, especially when faced with a diverse workforce.

The Bible

The Bible teaches about Godly leaders who all exhibited technical expertise, integrity, the ability to learn, and possess emotional intelligence.

For example, the men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12 had a place in David’s army on account of being men “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Issachar contributed just 200 men out of a total military force of 336,000, yet those men made a unique contribution. All the other military forces are described as brave warriors, armed for battle, and experienced soldiers armed with every type of weapon.  Yet it is clear from the text that the men of Issachar bring superior knowledge and insight that more than makes up for their lack of fighting force numbers.

Issachar’s fighting force was nimble, talented, committed, and each possessed leadership down through the ranks.  Precisely like the business leadership style of the future.

Structure your organization to be nimble, quick, and decisive with leaders spread through your organization.  In that way, you will be prepared for the management challenges of the future.