In the rapidly changing times of today, leadership styles too are transforming. The 20th century has seen more autocratic leadership styles where a single person controls and decides for the organization. This Authoritarian Leadership style isn’t inclusive and doesn’t consider the decisions and beliefs of other people. Though this style has survived many years and has some benefits in terms of strength and direction, it no longer works for the 21st century that demands more creative solutions for existing problems and issues. Autocratic leadership requires great decision-making ability and quick fixes. However, this usually ceases to work on critical issues that are deep-rooted in nature and need collaborative effort to solve.
On the contrary, a Democratic Leadership style is more prominent and effective in today’s world, where each employee has a voice. They feel a sense of authority and control when it comes to major company decisions.
There are several other leadership styles like the Pacesetting style of Leadership, which is considered highly effective in maximizing employees’ talent and potential, thereby promising long-term performance and growth. It is particularly useful when organizations are going through change and transformation and demands new processes and scope of work.
Many experts even believe that a Flexible Leadership style could be the best bet for leaders. Hence, knowing when to be decisive and when to be collaborative is vital.
Along with changing leadership styles, the 21st century has also seen an upturn in Women-Leadership after years of the gender gap in leadership. Statistically, women leadership in senior management roles grew by a whopping 29% in 2019 – the highest growth ever. As of today, the percentage of women human resource directors is an impressive 40%. The women leadership boom isn’t just in organizations. Women entrepreneurship, too, has seen massive growth in the last decade.
The latest report sponsored by Babson College, Smith College, Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Del Desarrollo, and Universiti Tun Abdul Razak found that women entrepreneurship grew by 10% that closed the gender gap in women’s entrepreneurial activity by 5% globally.
There are several established ways in terms of dos, and dont’s when it comes to leadership. Leadership gurus all over the globe have given priceless tips on what makes a good leader. They have highlighted great qualities like Vision, Courage, Focus, Strategic decision-making ability as a mark of good leadership, and such lessons. It is crucial to not only know what works but also what doesn’t. It is wise to let go of traits that are an impediment rather than help to growth and leadership.
Transformational Leaders are more emotionally intelligent and transpersonal i.e., they can rise beyond individual egos. They are caring and less bossy, more collaborative, less autocratic, more radical, and ethical. It helps an organization thrive with team effort and support while seamlessly enabling enterprises to tide through difficult times.
However here are 5 traits a Good Leader that can barricade them from being successful leaders.
1. Lack of Vision and a Positive Outlook
Leadership requires a clear vision. A famous quote by John C.Maxwell –
A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
Some leaders lack vision and purpose while running an organization. It leads to confusion and chaos, which are recipes of frustration and demotivation in a team. When a usual job is linked to a greater vision, the chances of growth and success are much higher.
The lack of faith in one’s own leadership abilities is another hindrance when it comes to good leadership. Keeping a positive outlook and ability to use failure as learning is a cherished quality that can help an organization mitigate any crisis. Some leaders lack a positive outlook, resulting in a less vibrant work culture, which clearly has a telling effect on productivity and growth.
A good leader motivates a team to evolve in a continuous learning culture that brings them closer to the organization’s vision.
2. Trying to Copy the Male Style of Leadership
This is clearly specific to women leaders. Empirical data from past research has shown that leaders are perceived as ‘too bossy’ or unfeminine and hence unappealing to organizations and society. While this sexism is uncalled for, it does hint at some lessons for women in leadership positions.
Women need not copy the male leadership style. If she embraces her own uniqueness and leadership style, it can work wonders for organizations. For one, women are natural nurturers. If they embrace that in leadership, the outcome would well ensure a team of motivated and cared employees in stressful times. The ability to emotionally connect to an employee opens the door for loyalty and greater output from teams.
3. Lack of Risk-Taking Ability and Flexibility
The ability to take risk goes hand in hand with confidence and drive. Statistically, women leaders are known to take fewer risks in business. Furthermore, research suggests that women are often victims of underplaying their business while seeking investor capital, which is never good for business. Also, when in stress, women’s tendency to take risks declines, whereas, in men, it increases.
Another pitfall when it comes to a lack of risk-taking ability is resisting change and transformation. A good leader is well aware of any disruption in the market. He/she is at the top of the game. When the world starts to embrace new ways of work, it is the leader’s job to be proactive in those changes and use them in the organization’s best interest. Being unnecessarily rigid in unprecedented times is a sign of weakness and not strength. The lack of adaptability and risk-taking ability in a leader are traits that can cost an organization dearly in today’s times.
4. Lack of Integrity and Ownership
When a crisis hits, some leaders are the first to blame it on sub-ordinates. The opposite happens when there is a success. They then take the credit. Naturally, this leads to resentment. Research has linked a lack of ownership with slow progress in an organization. When a leader lacks ownership, the subordinates too tend to follow suit and lack accountability. It not only affects revenue but also negatively affects work culture. Some leaders chose to become judgemental instead of trying to inspire learning from a mistake.
A wise leader knows how to take ownership of a pitfall no matter how big the damage. A good leader also knows how to delegate tasks and remain involved while letting their employees lead the way.
5. Poor Communication Skills
One can be a great leader in terms of ideas and knowledge. Nevertheless, if a leader fails to communicate well, it ruins the game. Leaders often get extremely busy with new responsibilities, and hence they make communication mistakes like not making an effort to know employees — their strengths and weakness at the personal level by not paying enough attention to concerns or lacking listening skills. They are supposed to enliven their teams with the high spirit that motivates them in times of hiatus.
Leaders should know how to inspire people through words and actions. Some leaders make the mistake of not appreciating employees and subordinates enough. The culture of appreciation is a great way to pep-up team spirits. Additionally, some leaders make the mistake of not communicating the overall organizational strategy to subordinates. They do not often feel the need for it. It results in them losing a great chance to inspire their employees by talking about an organization’s mission and vision while linking it to the overall work strategy.
Interestingly, the needs of the 21st century are increasingly calling for a woman style of leadership, which is distinctly different from the typical masculine leadership styles. While achieving gender equity and closing the leadership gap in women still has a long way to go, the good news, for now, is the favorable growth rate of women leadership. Women are having more leadership and entrepreneurial ambitions than ever before.
Experts all over have identified that women’s leadership styles. Women worldwide have taken a step in the right direction in terms of leadership. Exemplary women leaders all over the globe are a standing testimony to it. If global predictions are to be believed, the future would see more women leaders. As such, this is the opportune moment for aspiring women leaders to set major learning goals on leadership.
Times today are unrivaled. There is volatility, uncertainty, complexity, or ambiguity or VUCA — the most commonly discussed acronym in today’s time. These times call for solutions and processes that need group expertise. Hence need leadership that is more comprehensive and not closed.
A great leader is aware of this at the highest levels and is therefore prepared to help their organizations and people maneuver through changing scenarios. They embrace change through continuous learning and are also ready to take criticism and work on their individual growth. In short, the very reason a society and economy tides through difficult times are due to great leadership. Therefore, while working on exceptional leadership strategies, being conscious, and eliminating wrong leadership strategies could be well worth the effort.