So, how well do you know your people? I mean, really know them. Do you know their passions, their interests? Do you know their hobbies, families, significant others? What about their short AND long-term career goals, and work motivations?
The days of impersonal, command-and-control leadership are done. Leadership is no longer about being “in charge,” simply delegating work flow and ensuring product delivery. In fact, the leadership focus on business operations has relinquished primacy, a distant second place in importance to finding, attracting, developing, and retaining talent. From the latter flows the former. Make no mistake about it.
Anyone can manage. Seriously, it’s not that difficult. Work comes across your desk. You hand it off to the appropriate worker to complete the task. You monitor the progress and check it off when accomplished. You reward or punish the worker based on progress or lack thereof.
Modern leadership is more difficult, and face it, it’s not for everyone. Moving into the next decade, organizations need to spend more time, money, and attention on ensuring their leadership corps has fundamental emotional intelligence like never before.
The ability of leaders to develop deeper personal relationships with employees, to understand more complex motivations, and to individually coach and develop workers according, not only to the organization’s needs, but more importantly to the needs and desires of the workers themselves, will be critical.
I truly anticipate a visible widening gap between those organizations who evolve their leaders in this way and those who opt for the washed-up model of management. But fear not, if you choose the second option. The gap won’t widen indefinitely.
After all, your organization won’t be around that long. And possibly….neither will you.