Born leaders no longer have the impact they once did. Sport provides us with some high profile examples of management and leadership and one arguable example of a born leader who no longer has the impact they once did is Jose Mourinho. Compare his, sometimes abrasive style, with the more engaging styles of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. We must learn to upgrade to a new level of influence – to learn from these engaging football managers.
In the early 1990s, a strong leader was in high demand. Someone with the management skills which created efficiency and impacted the bottom line. These skills, these people, were the domain of supervisors and middle management.
The next level is leadership. During the same era attention shifted onto the importance of having a key leader, especially in the role of the CEO. Individuals who had more of a long term, strategic perspective. Individuals who were able to challenge the status quo as opposed to accepting it.
Modern and Engaging Leaders
In the early 90s more people started using the Internet. The world was becoming smaller, more connected and subsequently information became more widely available. Everyone in a company could find out what they needed to know. Market conditions changed more quickly and became more complex and harder to predict. A more modern leadership style was required.
For decades, strong leaders had been producing superior business results. But then results fell to simply average, quietly surpassed by a new mode of influence.
Engaging and modern leadership (again think back to the leadership styles of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola) – the new modern leadership style – is not about you and your vision; it’s about the team. It’s about the team making things happen — things that you and the team care deeply about. You are a leader, but you aren’t the centre. You aren’t driving the team and making decisions; you cultivate a team that makes decisions. You stimulate healthy dialogue, help the team discover its purpose and vision, and help the team stay focused on its purpose and the results that matter.
In a later blog post we highlight 9 important traits of someone with this more engaging leadership style. These are taken from work written by Jesse Lahey in his engaging leadership series.
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