How To Be A Good Leader

Recent thinking on leadership indicates characteristics traditionally seen as more feminine than masculine are necessary for success in today’s world. Patience, humility, inclusiveness, understanding, empathy and openness, more generally identified as feminine traits, are now seen as necessary for leaders of both sexes.

The shift in emphasis is driven by a change in corporate culture: from greed and a focus on short-term goals to a more value-driven, long-term approach to success.

A greater focus on values is seen as a better way to motivate and engage employees in an economic climate where competition for people and skills is increasing.

The benefits of a more engaged workforce include happier staff, higher productivity, better performance, increased profitability and a reduction in turnover and absenteeism.

The development of leadership in recent decades has moved from the traditional ‘command and control’ approach to ‘empower and encourage’ to ‘connect and engage’, which is more in evidence in today’s workplace.

Some traits traditionally identified with males – speed in relation to decision-making, confidence, independence – still play an important role in good leadership but are no longer sufficient on their own.

The need for change has been driven by a number of factors over recent decades. They include: the need for greater collaboration and partnership, the changing role of technology, greater caution in relation to decision-making and a return to long-term thinking.

Business and business leaders can no longer do it all on their own, as the world becomes a smaller place and the need to work in partnership and collaborate with others increasingly determines success.

Leaders need to be more cautious in their thinking and develop the ability to manage risk in a world that changes quickly and demands openness, flexibility and good judgement.

The traditional leadership focus on short-term profit to the exclusion of all else is over, as leaders are expected to deliver long-term value while meeting their responsibilities to the environment and other societal stakeholders.

Even though leadership is becoming more feminine in its characteristics the best leadership mixes old and new, masculine and feminine to embrace change and achieve success.

SO, leadership is changing and perhaps for the first time the balance is tipping towards a more feminine approach that includes different voices to ensure better outcomes.

What do you think?

Are you a good leader?

Look forward to your comments.