Why Your Business Should Align with Today’s Leadership Theory
As the business world continues to evolve, it is valuable for your business to understand the current stages of leadership theory to best transform your leaders.
For your business to succeed in 2023 and beyond, you will need more insight than just the latest leadership development trends. Although these trends influence a business and its leadership strategies, understanding your leaders and their behaviors will be just as critical to your organization’s cultural health, the effectiveness of your leaders, and for the success of your business.
With today’s innovations and increased competition in the marketplace, leaders must learn to simultaneously lead and adapt to change. In turn, a business should be receptive in the same ways with supporting their leaders effectively through all possible resources, training, and development. Providing leadership development opportunities to your current leaders, high-potentials, and future leaders is one of the best ways to invest in your people. These development opportunities enhance competencies and skill sets and help to expand the knowledge, growth, and awareness of your people, all of which will benefit your employees and your business.
Leadership theory helps us dive deeper into leadership and learn more about how and why certain individuals become leaders. A leader should be aware of their traits, personality features, and behaviors to not only recognize their impact but also to tailor their strengths when adapting to the ever-changing workforce. Changing leadership impacts all levels of an organization, making it critical for your business to gain insight into who its leaders are and what they each bring to the table.
Although bigger-picture business goals like increasing revenue, gaining more customers, retaining top talent, and excelling in the marketplace typically remain the same, the same old leadership approaches will no longer be as effective in reaching these same goals today.
What are the Current Stages of Leadership Theory today?
The three most common leadership theories today are transformational, servant, and agile leadership. Each of these theories is unique, however, they all include incredible elements of leadership important to both the current and future leaders of today.
- Transformational (Relationship) Theory – When it comes to leadership, relationships are critical. As humans, we all value connection, and employees do the same. Transformational leadership theory focuses on a positive relationship between leaders and their employees and team members. Leaders who develop the ability to motivate and inspire their employees will be more effective in their workplace relationships. These leaders will more strongly articulate your vision, motivate, and inspire your people, and will be more effective in leading and moving your employees in the direction of your company goals.
According to a study in Sage Journals, transformational leaders better engage and support their employees in their workplaces. When leaders focus on being communicative, collaborative, and positive in all their relationships, this benefits their effectiveness and approachability, as well as advances the company culture and all people around them. Today, employees desire meaningful relationships where they feel valued, heard, seen, and included by their leaders. Leadership development is unique to each organization, as each leader is unique, but adapting to transformational leadership will help any leader to excel in any business or industry.
- Servant Leadership Theory – Servant Leadership is another modern-day leadership theory that continues to evolve in the workplace. This area of leadership focuses on leaders fulfilling the needs of their employees. If your employees are not fulfilled in their roles, they will experience low morale and a lack of job satisfaction. Equipping your leaders to be empowering and engaging, as well as self-aware of their own actions and the needs of their employees will best benefit your business. Not only will this improve relationships in leadership, but it will also improve trust and foster leadership qualities in others.
According to new research, 71% of executives report that employee engagement is one of the most critical elements to success within your business and its goals. Developing your leaders with a servant leadership style will enhance competencies and foster a culture of openness, cohesiveness, and autonomy. We know the importance of an organization’s cultural health and how greatly it impacts the decision-making of our top talent. Equipping your leaders to lead with skills of active listening, thought diversity, and empowerment will create a culture of openness, growth mindset, and opportunity, which will benefit all aspects of your business.
- Agile Leadership Theory – The most common element known as agile leadership theory relates to the ability of leaders to adapt in challenging and ever-changing Your people are the most critical asset in your business, and you need to invest in their well-being and strengths to support them through change. Equipping your leaders to be adaptable and receptive to change, new thoughts, and new ideas will also enhance the experience of your employees. The workforce today desires leaders with foresight and vision, who will encourage them to think outside the box, reimagine, and be open to growth and change.
Through leadership development strategies and programs, you can enhance your leader’s emotional intelligence and confidence. Empowering your leaders and equipping them to lead through unprecedented times and change will help support those around them, and foster a culture of flexibility, growth, and improved commitment to the organization. Having a clear and compelling vision, as well as clear company values, also will help develop your leaders to better lead and handle change. Visionary Leadership will support your leaders and guide their actions in the direction of your company. It will also promote a more agile work environment, as this will help to model adaptability in the workplace for all to see. Leaders’ behaviors have an impact on employee behaviors, so it is important to invest in your leadership to best utilize their unique skills and strengths to best benefit your people and your business.
All 3 of these leadership theories overlap in the need to foster openness, trust, employee fulfillment, and flexibility in your culture. To keep up with modern-day leadership and workplace changes, leaders must recognize their actions and approaches and adapt their styles of leading to keep up with today’s new innovations, diversity, and ever-changing workplace.
Deep diving into your leadership and equipping them to align with modern-day business needs and leadership theory will not only enhance your leaders but will also aid your competitive advantage. When leaders are equipped to handle today’s trends and challenges in the workplace, there is a greater opportunity for a business to retain top talent, grow, and excel. When a leader is emotionally intelligent and has a deeper awareness of their own influence and qualities, they will be more effective for their employees and the success of the business.
All companies desire to have strong and effective leaders, but not all will invest in their leadership development. As the business world continues to change, your organization must learn how to best develop and equip its leaders to lead effectively through these changes. Each business is unique, so check out Our Services to see how EDA’s custom-designed leadership and executive development strategies, systems, and programs will help your business excel in today’s business world.
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CEO, EDA, Inc.
Executive Coach, Author, Speaker and Leader of Custom Executive Development Consulting Firm with world-class consultants, recognized in their fields as the creme-de-la-creme. Services include Executive and Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Succession Planning, and High Potential Development.
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A deep dive into the notion that a compelling vision is a differentiator for organizations that want to hire and retain talent, be more competitive, and thrive in uncertain times.