Your transformation/evolution as a leader in the last few years and the environment that impacted it?
You need to adapt! There is NO one style of leadership that can apply to your business. Leadership is an evolutionary process. I went through a series of experiences in management and leadership styles from my corporate management days to starting and running my own business.
Over the years I realized that leadership can and should be situational, you need to mix and match leadership styles depending on the needs of the team and the business. Sometimes you need to collaborate, sometimes you need to create consensus, sometimes the team needs a visionary to move forward fast, a new style of coaching, someone to lead the way or even, on occasion mobilize the team for a vision and focus on end goals, asking more individual commitment.
What changes impacted your leadership style the most?
Your environment and your maturity impacts your leadership style. You need to adapt to the changes you are faced with in business. And each stage of your business offers new and different challenges. The key as a leader is to make a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal and the best tool for the job. You can adapt your style to manage circumstances and advance your intended goals.
What do you do day-to-day as a leader and how has this changed in comparison to 5 or 10 years ago?
Setting your staff up for success from the beginning. Set realistic goals that can be achieved; hitting them and celebrating them creates excitement and motivates your team towards the next goal. You need to motivate by instilling an ownership mentality to all team members.
What are the changes in style, practices, traits that are applying to your today’s day-to-day leadership style?
The best leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. When we share leadership, we’re all collectively a lot smarter, more nimble and more capable in the long run, especially when we are faced with unknown and unforeseen challenges. ¨ In the early days (10-15 years ago), we were obsessed with achieving goals and overlooked the needs of the team. It was the directing style of giving orders and expecting obedience, but offering little in the way of guidance and assistance, telling people what to do.
¨ Later, especially in the years involved with startups, we morphed into more of a participating style allowing team members to take a more active role in the decision-making process while providing a coaching style with lots of supportive behaviors.
What is the impactful learning with regards to your leadership style that moved you to be successful today?
Disciplined execution requires commitment, conscientiousness and a willingness to take personal responsibility, and you need the tools and processes to make sure results are not left to chance.
Encourage open communication. People respond more positively when they believe that management and leadership actually welcomes their input. ¨ Communicate openly to employees about the organization’s needs, challenges, and successes. ¨ Involving people in the decision making process, getting them involved in assessing problems, determining possible courses of action, and choosing from alternate solutions as a team. ¨ Providing continuous feedback so they can improve their performance and work smarter and better.
In regard to trends about the leadership in the future that we read about and are happening today:
I believe transformational leaders tend to be emotionally connected to their team members, are energetic, and passionate. They are not only committed to helping the organization achieve its goals, but also to helping team members fulfill their potential. The leader should have the abilities to motivate and inspire team members and to encourage direct positive changes in groups. It is mixture of coaching, team nurturing, combined with collaborative knowledge building, and creating agile and smart solution.