In the early years , we often sang the rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall’. In today’s parlance it is so relevant if we align the same with the leadership style. Leadership which sits on an issue without taking decision on time is bound to fall in the eyes of their stakeholders.
We often hear that times are changing, so what are the areas which see the maximum impact; we can broadly classify the changes in way information is being shared both in terms of speed and access. The change in the profile of employees from being a dormant workforce which was interested only in its job to a more active workforce which is interested in bigger picture and wants to have a say in all the aspects of the organizations. The third major change is in terms of expectations and patience of the stakeholders. In this era of instant gratification and world which runs 24*7, patience is a virtue which is seldom found and appreciated.
Hence the question- Is leadership impacted by the above changes and if yes which level of leadership is impacted the most?
Leadership is not immune to these changing dimensions. It has to operate at a different level now and the critical component being that Leadership at all levels- from the CXO to Managers, have been impacted with these changing paradigms.
Till a few years back it was acceptable that Leadership took time to arrive at a decision. The reasons for the delay in decision making could be attributed to anything from data being analyzed, to greater in-depth discussions happening to simple answer that the leader is conservative and shy or more time is required as we still are building consensus.
Many a times the decision would not take much time but communicating the same would; as the leadership would wait for the right time, right mood to share the same.
Today all this is perceived as ‘Sitting on the Wall’ and which is turn leads to ‘Had a Great Fall’ in terms of perception of the stakeholders.
So what does this mean to all of us at Leadership table? How do we manage the expectations of the stakeholders, what are the new rules of the game . . . Some basic principles can be :
Silence is Not Golden any more
In this age of tweets and social media, the stakeholders including employees expect to hear from their leaders from time to time. Silence is not golden anymore from any of the leaders, they are expected to converse on regular basis and more instantaneously during any crisis. Waiting for the right time to address is a recipe for disaster.
Accessibility is Acceptance
When Presidents of the Powerful Nations can be connected within two connections on LinkedIn, many stakeholders find it very difficult to comprehend why their organization presidents and leaders are not that easily accessible.
Accessibility is an indication that leaders are dynamic and thereby makes them more acceptable.
Neutrality is Not Nice
Being diplomatic and grey was considered a virtue for any good leader, not any more. Today’s leaders are expected to share the stand and stance on critical issues and not sit idle on wall.
Decisive is ‘D’ Mantra
The most critical of the all employees and stakeholders expect their leaders to be more ‘Decisive’ than ever. They don’t appreciate the leaders who shy away from taking decisions or facing them in times of crisis.
Yes the times have changed but the new spirit of the rhyme still echoes Humpty Dumpty Sat On the Wall, Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall . . . Leadership is not about intellect & introspection, it is about being decisive.
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