The key to successful leadership in today’s working world is influence, not authority.
This is a different mindset for those of us who are Baby Boomers. It’s a stretch for us to move from hard-earned lessons on adherence to rules, discipline, and hard work. But we must accept that this authoritative style no longer fits in our modern-day workplace puzzle.
Studies have shown consistently that workers are more productive when they are in a positive work environment. The attitude and influence of a leader are significant factors in this productivity. If employees feel they are listened to, respected, and treated fairly, they are happier in their work and perform better.
Like pieces of a puzzle, we need to connect.
We also need to connect with empathy. People just don’t snap together like pieces of a puzzle.
Today’s forward-thinking business leaders are learning to proactively embrace sensitivity to effectively coexist at work. If you have honesty, humility, empathy, and are willing to listen (really listen), then you’re taking the first steps toward a healthier work culture. These “vulnerable” character traits are no longer viewed as a pain point but rather a cornerstone of productivity that safeguards business growth.
It’s easy to put the puzzle pieces together when you have a picture on the box to use as a reference point. Though all the pieces are in the box, they are all shaped differently.
It’s only when one piece of the puzzle is paired with another piece, then another, and another that the true profile of authentic leadership can be seen. Just be sure you are doing your part to complete the picture.