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How Leadership Has Evolved

The leadership requirements over the course of time have changed tremendously, the turbulent times that we are living in has made it even more serious to understand the tectonic shifts under way and the emerging markets of east verses the west.

The plethora of technology, the aging population and the scarcity of resources are all happening together, that is why we are faced with the challenge of dealing with a very volatile period.

The role of the leader is to lead a group of people towards achieving a common goal by motivating, inspiring, encouraging, supporting and guiding them. Some of the challenges that leaders face could be as listed below.

Leadership contrasted with management.

People often tend to get both aspects confused, leaders and managers are completely different from each other, but they complement each other and go side by side. Because they involve planning, organizing, directing and controlling, while all managers are not leaders, all leaders can be managers as leaders influence the values, behaviors and attitudes of others. That is why it is important to give importance to both because it takes both leadership and management to reach a desired goal.

Lack of training or experience.

It is common to be in a scenario where a person gets promoted to a position that they are not ready for or maybe we had dived to take that leadership role that they thought they could help with, but sometimes there’s a lack of training or experience. There are at times specific skills that are required which a person might not have. The fear of failure because of lack of training and experience can make a person paralyzed which leads to lack of confidence which can result in not being able to micromanage anything, failure in providing support to the team and lack of decision making at critical times.

Lack of support.

Not having a support system such as a mentor or an advisor you can turn to for help or for positive criticism is also one factor that can affect the progress of a leader because peers and advisors can be one of the most valuable source of critique and helpful expertise. Peers can toss around ideas of things that have worked for them and a person can learn from their experience.

A rigid chain of command.

Sometimes there is a challenging environment where a leader needs to follow a rigid chain of command where the leader gets blamed for everything and that in turn creates a fear of trying anything new because it may yield unpleasant results.

How to adjust to the role of a leader.

The most essential thing anyone can give us is feedback, a leader should embrace feedback and really investigate it and study where people could be right and how they can change that weakness into a strength. By knowing what value, they bring to the table, their skills, their strengths and their expertise will set a sense of confidence which will be essential for them in making future decisions.

Creating a developmental plan will help in identifying strengths and how can a leader keep improving them, if they find areas where they have gaps and weaknesses, they can always work on them by making a constant individual effort towards self-development.

Setting a vision will give the team and the leader a direction to where they are headed, the leader can delegate certain tasks to someone who is more equipped to do the job.

It is important to note that to reach a desired goal it always takes team effort and working as a unit with efficient communication and support. A true leader always believes in teamwork and has the capacity to engage with members at all levels.


Written by:

Girish Rohra Chawla

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