How to Lead by Example (It’s Harder Than You Think)
#1 Embrace Multiple Generations
The workforce has always been made up of employees from multiple generations. Today’s leaders are facing a particularly challenging generational disparity in their teams. You may have a GenZ employee working alongside a Baby Boomer or a millennial supervising a Generation Xer. People of different generations may have different work styles, for sure, but you can overcome those differences by creating a culture based on the basic needs all employees have in common: fairness, recognition, and training.
#2 Look Beyond the #metoo Movement
Certainly, the #metoo movement encourages leaders to create, maintain, and protect a productive work environment for their entire team. Beyond that, though, is a push to ensure wage equality and advance more women into leadership roles. This starts by creating a more diverse workforce and ensuring all employees have access to the resources they need to create career development paths that lead to advancement.
#3 Create a Culture of Lifetime Learning
Your employees are your greatest asset. As they learn new skills, the collective knowledge of your business improves. Training reduces turnover, improves morale, and increases loyalty. This applies to employees at all levels, including yourself.
#4 Avoid Burnout (Yours and Your Staff’s)
One of the most interesting leadership trends is to forget about the idea of finding a work-life balance. The key to avoiding burnout is to accept that your work life and your personal life are reciprocal parts of the same circle. They shouldn’t compete against each other, they should complement each other. For this to happen, leaders need to be flexible with their own time and provide similar flexibility for their employees.
#5 Thin the Veil
Skepticism is running at an all-time high, and creating a culture of transparency is crucial to team loyalty. That doesn’t mean your employees have to know everything about what’s happening at the higher levels of your business, but it may mean it’s time to re-think your “need-to-know” policies. The more you share with your employees about the business’s successes, failures, and challenges, the more buy-in they’ll have to your vision and mission.
Pulling Leadership Trends Together
These five leadership trends all point to a leadership philosophy that isn’t a trend at all: transformational leadership. Transformational leaders inspire their teams through integrity, fairness, and respect. They set high expectations and lead by example. People want to follow transformational leaders and do so with fierce loyalty. When you implement the five leadership trends with a transformational leadership style, you’ll see your team – and your business – grow to new heights.
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