By Kulmeet Bawa
Although leadership skills are essential for the growth of any organisation, who we see as an ‘effective leader’ has significantly evolved. The new-age leadership is anchored in emotional intelligence, flexibility, and purpose. These leaders are more aligned with the unique needs of the workforce and bring their own distinct ideas and life experiences to inform how they lead.
An Accenture study shows that 61% of emerging leaders believe it’s no longer enough to do business for the sake of business; they want to also have a positive impact on society. The premium now is on capabilities, new insights, solutions, and talent rather than age.
Furthermore, youth might often be equated with an abundance of energy and ideas, but its potential extends far beyond. Therefore, being around young talent can help bring in fresh perspectives and expertise. Digital natives and entrepreneurs of startups are incorrigible risk-takers and are unafraid of failing.New-age leadership, built on engagement and innovation, can foster exceptional engagement in the workplace. Empathy is one of the key qualities that is fast coming to occupy a pride of place in the management playbook. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes also reflects that the employees are heard, recognised, and appreciated.
Many might also argue that sharing personal stories should not be a part of workplace discussion. In contrast, connecting with your employees on a human level by sharing valuable life lessons as a mentor and leader can serve as inspiration. In current times when hybrid models are the new working style, being able to forge a bond through personal stories is a great way to build trust.
The world has fundamentally altered, and leaders today are more open and aware of ‘people power’ and this reflects in their approach to leadership as well. This is the reason why there’s no one style that is gospel anymore. New-age leadership is a permutation and combination of several traits along with the drive to innovate, adapt and develop solutions. Much like the army, where different skill sets are required to succeed, in the organisation too, we need a good mix of diverse leaders who are willing to lead with a vision.
Owing to the increasing complexity, ‘moonshot thinking’ will gain more importance. That means motivating teams to think big by framing problems as solvable and encouraging them to explore new ways to think about the future will be the approach. This can be applied to any discipline and will also increase the individual’s productivity.
To sum it up, new-age leadership is the capacity to ‘not only know the way, but also go the way and show the way.’ Individuals who understand this, strive to be more adaptable, learn continuously, and have an open and innovative bent of mind to create winning organisational cultures, will not just survive but thrive in this era of digital disruptions.
The writer is president & managing director, SAP Indian Subcontinent