By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Traditionally, a strong leader was someone who would take and command power and control. It was someone who would sit at the head of a company and issue directives to be fulfilled by those below them. Times are changing, and with it, the way corporations are run.
An effective new style of leadership in modern business requires you to understand that command and control are a way of the past. Successful leaders today need to effectively communicate direction while also remaining companionable and compassionate.
This engages the team and encourages them to grow personally within their own positions. The overall effect is an inspired team that follows an example of collaboration, innovation, and acceptance.

Start With a Clear Vision
Consumers are more educated than ever and appreciate businesses that are willing to help them learn. As the leader, you need to be able to cut through the noise and focus on what will contribute to the company’s end goal of serving the customer.
Focus your efforts on achieving the main goal. Trust in your team and let go of control of the day to day tasks. This encourages innovative thinking and problem-solving.

Greater development comes from collaboration. Your company cannot truly be successful when each team and individual work in a vacuum. By encouraging collaboration, you allow employees to build on each other’s work for an overall stronger and better outcome.

Get Comfortable with Conflict
Not everyone will agree with everyone all of the time, and that’s ok. As the leader, it’s your job to be comfortable with this conflict and mediate to find a compromise acceptable to all parties. This is when a clear vision becomes essential as it helps you align conflicting parties towards the common goal.
Plan for conflict by understanding that interdepartmental collaboration tends to come with a certain level of conflict. This is because each department approaches the overall goal from their department’s point of view. It can be challenging for employees to step outside of their duties to understand the problem from another’s perspective.
As the leader, it’s your responsibility to minimize animosity and encourage understanding. When you lead by example, you can be a conductor of change. This will help mold the corporate culture to be one of understanding and communication.

Culturally Aware
As a leader, it’s important to understand that you’ll communicate and lead people from various backgrounds. Don’t let your personal bias influence who you lead. This could include controversial topics like race, religion, and nationality. But it can also pertain to things like hairstyle and color, tattoos, or personal habits and quirks of your team members.
Focus your analysis of an employee’s quality on their performance at work and not on your personal bias. This encourages the development of your most talented employees, no matter what walk of life they come from.

Nothing sinks a corporate ship faster than confusion and inconsistency. While it’s important to be agile, this shouldn’t apply to the overall goal or your leadership style.
If the goal continually changes, then employees won’t know how to prioritize their work or what they’re working towards. If your management style changes, you breed insecurity and paranoia.

Embrace a New Style of Leadership
It takes time and effort to develop your management style into a new style of leadership that blends with modern corporate culture. One way you can develop your style is by speaking with other leaders. This allows you to see working examples of implementing modern leadership approaches.

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at [email protected]