Leadership Qualities for a Modern World
A perfect storm of recent events has dramatically and permanently changed the way businesses function. While historians have pointed out that humans have weathered similar circumstances throughout history, the occurrence of the COVID pandemic alongside the explosive growth of digital technology has opened new doors to productive workflows.
To thrive in the modern business world, leaders will need to adopt new qualities that nurture employee growth and build a collaborative mindset. Traditional top-down leadership depends on the ability of leaders to make decisions and employees to follow directions. It requires constant oversight and a static environment. The modern workforce is driven by changing technology and global collaboration. Modern leaders must lead in a way that inspires employees to innovate and help build digital-first companies that will thrive in the future.
What are the Qualities of Today’s Leader?
The same qualities that have always shaped truly great leaders still apply in the modern world. Strong and efficient leaders promote the best qualities in their employees and inspire others to follow their vision. Yet, to navigate the complexities of today's digital world, today’s leaders will have to loosen the reins and embrace a leadership style that promotes human qualities and collaboration. These leadership qualities will help businesses flourish in the modern workplace.
Modern employees face significant stress from all directions. It’s no longer possible to learn a single skill that will drive a long-term career. Instead, employees must constantly upskill to keep up with changes in technology. A whopping 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress. To engage teams to adopt new technology, leaders must be understanding and prepared to accept mistakes in the pursuit of innovation.
Modern businesses must be agile enough to adapt immediately to unforeseen circumstances and potential growth drivers. To cultivate a culture of flexibility, leaders must adopt a mindset that prioritizes learning above success. Individuals with a growth mindset view challenges and setbacks as learning opportunities. This approach allows them to believe they can adapt their abilities to tackle any problem that arises.
Twenty-eight percent of all new job openings in January 2023 were advertised as remote, and 60% of US and UK executives said their firms increased the hiring of international workers between 2020 and 2021. A modern workforce distributed across the globe requires a leader to be proficient in clear communication across multiple platforms.
As artificial intelligence (AI) creeps into the workflows of business in every industry, humans must remain steadfast in prioritizing morality over success. Even as machines become more human-like, humans are responsible for providing the information that makes AI possible. Leaders who uphold their values even when they have a great deal to lose will be pivotal in shaping the ethical use of AI in modern business.
With change comes uncertainty, making it difficult for humans to embrace. McKinsey research shows that 70% of large enterprise transformations fail. Employee resistance or management behavior has been identified as the major barrier to success in 72% of companies with failed transformations. As the business world continues to evolve, leaders will undoubtedly face crises, hardships, and failures. Yet, to succeed they’ll have to seek new opportunities instead of avoiding them.
Outstanding leaders inspire others to follow their path. To set such an example, one must have a strong sense of their mission and purpose. Leaders with a vision truly believe in the value of what they’re trying to accomplish and clearly communicate that belief to the members of their team.
Assessing and Improving Your Leadership Qualities
Being an effective leader requires self-introspection and a willingness to become a lifelong learner. Yet, evaluating one’s own leadership abilities can be challenging. To measure your management qualities, ask yourself these questions.
- Am I aware of my weaknesses as a leader?
- Do I manage my time and energy efficiently throughout each day?
- How well do I respond to my team members’ needs?
- Do I handle conflicts and other sensitive interactions with empathy?
- Do I collaborate well with others?
- Do I frequently leverage my team's strengths and passions to achieve better results?
- Does my behavior inspire trust in others?
- Have I clearly outlined the organization’s long-term goals?
- Am I flexible enough to adjust goals as needed?
- Do I leverage high-quality resources and support networks to achieve organizational goals?
How you answer these questions will help you understand your leadership strengths and weaknesses. Luckily, leadership qualities can be learned and improved through education. Assessing your leadership qualities gives you a benchmark to measure your future leadership success. Continue your journey to great leadership by seeking out training to help you resolve weaknesses.
How to Teach These Qualities to Your Team
Business leaders have a responsibility to shape an engaging and innovative workplace culture through policies, resources, and actions that promote business growth and agility. Honing your own modern leadership skills is a first step. Yet, you also need to implement the resources you need to pass essential skills down to your team.
According to a Wiley survey, 69% of HR professionals say they are experiencing a skills gap at their companies. To ensure your employees have all the necessary skills to perform in a digital landscape, it’s essential to invest in your business’ success. Yet, employee training can be time-consuming and challenging to get right. By adopting a technological solution, you can give employees the resources they need to learn at their own pace. A learning management system (LMS) like the one provided by isolved is a powerful tool for upskilling and reskilling employees in the modern workforce. With an extensive course list of leadership and employee training opportunities, you can customize your training efforts to the needs of your company. By connecting the entire employee journey and empowering employees with self-service tools, you can help your business thrive.
For more information on adopting modern leadership qualities and giving your team the resources to thrive in the modern business world, tour our HCM system, isolved, offered by Platinum Group.