Over the last two decades, leadership trends have shifted from authority-based leadership to engagement and compassionate leadership. Has this change been real? Many companies struggle with the consequences of weak leadership, failing to delegate and engage their staff. In today's business rollercoaster, poor leadership is unaffordable. April's article covers a conversation I had with María covering the coming trends in leadership and why it is not so much about authenticity as it is about understanding yourself. Take the foundation pillars as a way to polish and revamp your leadership.
What’s your opinion on the current trend/leadership style?
Stakeholders and financial investors are exquisite when hiring people in leadership positions. There's no room for faking. My personal experience is that persons in top posts are good at covering, but that does not mean they are good leaders. You can read about leadership, inform yourself, and even sell the story by speaking at conferences. Good leaders build their reputation and branding in action, not preaching. Colleagues and employees are the ones backing your leadership skills. Stakeholders and financial investors know that and choose what works for their organizations in the long run.
Is empathic leadership a trend?
Over the last two decades, we have shifted from authority-based to empathic leadership.
Authority-based leadership was based on position, control, and micromanagement. Leaders took control of all decisions, telling employees what to do, when, and how to complete the tasks.
Empathic leadership aims for a collaborative model focused on engagement. As leaders, we are transitioning from commanding and controlling to unlocking talent and ideas in our people. Modern firms look for leaders who can inspire innovation and creativity and help colleagues see purpose and meaning in their work.
This change was necessary to meet demands. Today, the business world is agile and driven by disruption and innovation and disruption. Employees' expectations are different; they are less willing or have fewer chances to go for a linear career path and stay longer in a position or company. The big idea is fast change and adaptation on all parts involved and guiding that change.
Is empathic leadership working?
In my opinion, empathic leadership has not been fully implemented. I based it on the feedback I get daily from my clients.
The situation is that leaders do not adapt so quickly. Professionals in managing positions need to show strong confidence in their success. Because they believe they know best, they don't involve others and act based on their understanding and decision-making. To some extent, this is normal. Companies hire them for their record, and often they are high-achieving people. They keep doing what used to work and overlook that may not be the best way forward.
They are missing genuine cooperation, compassion and empathy. Even though we have spoken for decades about emotional intelligence, authenticity, and vulnerability at work, there are a lot of leaders out there who may witness their most capable employees leave the company due to poor leadership management. That's costly and painful.
What does it mean for top management and leadership professionals on a PERSONAL LEVEL? How do you think this impacts them?
It feels scary. Leadership professionals access their position knowing the delivery and results expected from them. The last two years gave them no break nor mercy, which is likely to go on so. They have to surf enormous business upheavals and adjust their leadership style as they go.
Top management and leadership professionals were hired and paid because they can surf enormous business upheavals and adjust their leadership style as they go. It's a natural expectation leaders are entitled to have, but in my opinion, they deserve acknowledgment and support for their challenging role.
The middle-life crisis is also at the forefront. Many of these men and women are on their +45 facing their challenges: health, personal/professional balance issues, sometimes divorce. They often feel a renewed call to prove themselves and find paths to growth and evolution.
Let's say you are a director of a global business unit, a CEO, or a member of a board: what's next for you? Is it about physical appearance, losing weight and sports, marriage, or personal relationships? On the professional side, you may ask what is next in your career and feel the urge to leave your footprint out in the world.
Leadership issues are often at stake because they unite many of the above.
Yes, leadership is about direction, relationships, and communication. That´s what is behind the so-called empathic leadership. At this stage of their career, leaders concerned with their development often seek external support, usually after trying it themselves. Confidence is excellent quality, but so is humility.
Honestly, an excellent executive coach capable of meeting you as a peer will speed up your process and help you build a lasting leadership foundation. That goes hand in hand with reviewing where you stand personally and adjusting your professional choices to your priorities and values. Of course, facing your weakness and discomfort feels unease, but most resilient leaders see that as an advantage.
Could you go deeper about building lasting leadership foundations?
At an operational level, what impacts leaders most is not external crises. How they respond is really about them. Them being able to understand; them having a considerable level of awareness and anticipating industry trends; them adjusting the business's strategy. When they realize it is about them is a huge turning point.
You've to start somewhere. So these are my three points to go deep and grow your leadership style:
These are the conditions we leaders use to create extraordinary engagement, retention, and business opportunities for our organizations.
Where do you think we are heading in 2 years?
Light speed adaptation! We need to create trends and be a bit ahead of time. I´ll focus on these three areas when it comes to future leadership:
I think we will need an approach to reciprocity within companies. Leaders are responsible for developing innovative environments where people can easily cooperate and move from one job to another because this will ignite innovation and individual purpose.
Strong leadership will be fundamental. Leadership will attract new generations of employees, searching for purpose and having the inner spark to do their job and deliver more.
I've seen a lot in corporate, top management, and leadership positions for over 20 years. I understand my clients because I relate to them and the leadership challenges they face as executives and CEOs. Self-compassion is not their most vital point. They can't afford it. Yet, self-compassion makes a leader capable of releasing grip and micromanagement and promoting a culture of real innovation and rapid change to face the upcoming challenges.
Every client is unique. I invest in offering you the guidance and depth needed to create your long-term vision, focus on possibilities, discern what works and does not work for you, and pave a clear growth path. Once you take the first step, the rest unravels quickly.
You have everybody's back; I've got yours. I'll be happy to listen to your needs and make you a proposal. Please, contact me: via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and link to book a call.
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