Are new leadership styles emerging?

We are at an interesting point in time in terms of the various traditional, and non-traditional leadership styles I have been seeing emerge over the last decade. More specifically, since our experience with Covid. Like it or not, the Covid period offers a distinct point in time that can referenced to see a turning point in some new leadership styles emerging, while others are being more critically considered whether they are still relevant.

When I consider the variety of leadership styles that are prevalent, I also think about the trends and circumstances that impact their adoption. This leads me to also consider why and how some leadership styles are embraced and have longevity power, and why others, like styles, fizzle out. From a wide-angle perspective, some of the leadership styles that in the past were impactful, are now experiencing a diminished return on their effectiveness. The good news is that there are some new ones that appear to be more promising. 

If you think that newer leadership styles might only be embraced by a younger generation, you would be mistaken. This has to do more with the ability for a leader having the capacity to be flexible and open minded with the leadership style they have shifted towards embracing. The two qualities of being flexible and open minded are independent of one’s chronicle age, and in my experience and through research I have conducted, serve leaders well who possess them. 

In terms of considering leadership styles, there is an interesting phenomenon occurring. It has to do with how and whether leaders, and those they lead are supported in embracing a change in their leadership style. This support doesn’t always occur, and a leader can find themselves in a highly frustrating challenge of trying to pivot their leadership style. Of course, this would ideally be for the better, and to be more positively impactful from an outcome and performance perspective. 

Many would agree that attempting to make changes in any given situation, can be difficult to accomplish, and also for the majority of people, isn’t a comfortable process to go through. So, this is one of the reasons attempting to make changes is often avoided. It’s simply easier at times not to make any changes, even it would be ideal to do so. 

Reality and being ideal are broad circumstances that leaders face and must contend with when they are going through the process of embracing a different leadership style. In many circumstances, a leader who either gains awareness that their current leadership style isn’t effective anymore, may need support in coming to terms with and accepting this reality. While there are other leaders who have a pulse on changes they will either need to make themselves,  and elegantly shift and begin the process of morphing into a new leadership style. One that will perhaps suits them better, and that more importantly, serves the needs of those they lead in a more productive manner. 

In terms of the different leadership style trends I am beginning to see emerge, they can be organized into some distinct categories. The first category is oriented around the leader taking an approach to having a higher awareness of who they are as a leader, and embracing and leveraging this knowledge in a tangible way. This type of leader is also acutely aware of how their style impacts others, as they are also attuned to understanding those they lead on a very different level. One that embraces and places an emphasis and focus on others abilities, versus investing time in fixing others deficits.

Another category of leadership I am seeing emerge is that leaders are becoming more approachable, and allowing others to see them as a person first, and a leader second. They are comfortable in their abilities, and have a balanced approach to making decisions based on both data analysis, but ultimately rely upon their gut instincts in all areas of decision making. 

The third leadership style trend I have seen emerge post Covid, is leaders who are allowing themselves to be more vulnerable. This doesn’t mean they have a reduced sense of power due to being this way, it is instead an approach which allows them to have a different lens on all scenarios they will have an impact on. Their vulnerable style also factors in having a more realistic sense of having insight into where there may be opportunities for improvement and innovation. A powerful combination which is also highly motivational for both the leader and those they lead. 

A fourth category is a leader who is hyper focused on what their purpose is in the context of how they go about, and why they are in their leadership role. This style is widely appealing, and also sustainable. However, it isn’t a style that has been embraced by more profit focused organizations or numerous sports teams. Although from a logical perspective, it may not make as much sense, as it is an emotional style, but then again, emotional styles when leveraged correctly can be enormously powerful and effective. Consider any emotional based advertising, and the impact it has on both your recall, and greater sense of supporting the brand or service being offered. 

If you are a leader, or an emerging one, here are some actions you can take if you are seeking to consider either adopting one or a combination of the emerging leadership styles I am seeing. 

·      Ask yourself why you want to change your leadership style? Is it because you no longer deem it to be impactful, or representative of who you are?

·      What is your self-awareness level on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest? 

·      If your self-awareness level isn’t where you want it to be, are you willing to pursue finding options on how to increase your level?

·      How will your team be better off by altering your leadership style?

·      Are there aspects of your current leadership style which can be slightly modified to either augment your style, or transition to a new one that will be more impactful?

·      What type of leadership style is the most appealing to you, but yet you can’t imagine being able to embrace it yourself?

·      How would you rate your level of being a vulnerable leader on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest? 

·      Realistically, how long, and how much effort are you going to need to put into modifying your current leadership style?

No one is perfect, and there isn’t a perfect one size fits all leadership style either. However, the quest should be to find a leadership style that allows you to be an inspiring, impactful and an authentically oriented leader. One that can evolve and embrace a having a growth mindset that serves you well, and those you lead even better. 

TAGS: #Leadership #Teams #Business #Motivation #Inspiration #Success #Leadershipstyles #Purpose #Leadershipalignment #Vulnerability #Impact #Leadershipimpact  #Sportsteams #Sportscoach #Leader

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