Leadership is constantly shifting and evolving in the modern era, and those who want to progress in their careers must be forward-thinking to compete.
According to Fabio Moioli, Head of Executive Search and Leadership Advisory at Spencer Stuart, leadership used to be about meeting the demands of the work world — a predictable frame set mainly by the constraints of office culture. However, now that flexibility and hybrid work is at the forefront of the future of work, leadership is facing an identity crisis. No longer are employees satisfied with hierarchies, says Moioli, and leading from the top down is seen as a thing of the past. Having control over one's subordinates is seen more as micromanaging rather than helpful guidance. Instead, leadership is now focused on enabling collaboration and facilitating open communication between all levels of employees.
To be an open leader, Moioli continues, those in positions of power must approach those underneath them with curiosity and interest. It's becoming clearer to many wise leaders that there are gaps in their knowledge bases that others can readily fill, and to be the best leader in the future of work, relying on anyone you can to teach you makes you into a humble and successful manager. And rather than exerting power to reinforce outdated policies or hold employees to unreasonable standards set without much thought, leaders should be open to change. Innovation only happens when the status quo is questioned, and that's what good leaders should be doing.
Lastly, being open to pivoting into digital spaces will make a leader rise above the rest. Digital tools will streamline processes and benefit businesses by clearing up space in employees' schedules for important work. Automating routine tasks also gives managers a bird's eye view of efficiency if processes need to be changed. And if tech isn't a leader's strong suit, just remember that asking employees to utilize their tech abilities and channel them into knowledge-sharing sessions will make the whole team stronger.