There are many theories of leadership culture and methodology. Some pass as management fads and others stay entrenched in the endevour for optimal human performance.
Most leadership theories, models and concepts were developed in the 1960’s – shadowing the industrial age. As markets and technology development moved slowly towards the end of the 20th century, leadership attempted to evolve. Largely, these evolutions were classified as fads or impractical academic theories.
In the past 10 years, things have sped up considerably, and the industrial age has been eclipsed by the information age. Many of the hard skills were still relevant, but the more important relationship related skills, dubbed ‘soft skills’ were grossly inadequate, if at all present.
The autocratic, authorative, pacesetting leadership styles may have worked in an environment of slow, incremental change. Business today is fast, often with transformational change every 2-3 years. This demands a more affiliative, coaching style of leadership that uses authentic influence to engage employees in the corporate vision, and motivate them to execute its strategy.
Today’s workers do less physical, and more mental work. They require a different working environment, and a different working relationship with their managers and co-workers. Today, leaders need to be inclusive, transformational, globally savvy and emotionally intelligent.
The term ‘inclusive leadership’ encompasses the discovery that emotional intelligence accounts for 90% of leadership success. Studies by Daniel Goleman also confirmed that a manager’s leadership style was responsible for 30% of the company’s bottom-line profitability!
Transformational leaders need influence, strong relationship skills and a deep understanding of employee engagement, motivation and retention [EMR].
Emotional intelligence is the combined competence of being aware of ones own emotions, and those of others, regulating ones responses to those emotions, then acting in a productive way.