2012 saw numerous challenges for many businesses as they worked towards a much-needed evolution from Management into the Leadership space. The changes were required as the economy slowed down, businesses struggled and the number of unemployed grew. The bad news is there is no sign of a let up just yet!
For many years teams of employees and individuals within the workspace have been managed through command and control, which in today’s world is very much becoming less and less effective in the light of the necessity for new thinking.
Managers now need to be sure they are shifting towards influence and coaching, they need to be motivators and supporters and not controllers. They are required to engage with their staff and teams with a view to encouraging employees to go the extra mile and offer support to their employer during these challenging times. The down side is that with the economy being in such a dire state with being in yet another recession, employees may well not receive any more financial reward, certainly not on their basic pay although there may be room for gratitude in a profit related pay. However, what they are most likely to gain out of anything currently is a better chance or retaining their employment and not joining the many others who are growing the numbers of those out of work.
The most desirable way forward for leadership is to look at dispersed leadership and rather than have a tiered management structure we aim for a shared ownership. The days of seniority within the workplace is dying. There is simply no place for it today or tomorrow. Businesses now have to re-invent the wheel, with many going through varying stages of Lean processes. They need to have shared responsibility where all staff are no longer accountable to their superior managers but are more accountable and autonomous to their peers. Driving staff will be based more on trust.
With changes in staffing and management structure taking place, home-working will also become more common in today’s business world. People will be up-skilling and using the transferable skills they have accrued elsewhere, whether that is through community involvement with volunteering, which by default requires a much higher level of coaching and engagement that is currently in the paid workplace. Social engagement is also high on the agenda as businesses look to grow their wider audience by means of a more effective method with lesser costs that do not impact on the reduced working capital available to companies during this double-dip recession we are in.
Communication skills and the tools to allow this will need to change. All of this is “coachable”, so one thing that will and indeed must change is the value and power of coaching as a key principle.
Some key thoughts on leadership:
- Leadership is a responsibility for both employees as well as employers – all staff should be coached and encouraged to behave as leaders.
- Shared visions. Leadership is about inclusiveness – ensure that all staff have a clear understanding and are always on the same page.
- Three key elements to effective leadership are Ownership, Responsibility and Accountability. Each of these is a basic requirement to ensure that we create a full participation and understanding.
- Ensure there is clarity – Make sure that all members understand at all time, what is expected of them and that they equally understand what they can expect from the employer.