Did you know that over 60% of UK workers think their boss does not possess good leadership skills – and 40% actually left a previous job because of this lack of confidence. My specially commissioned research led me to ask this question: What does a good leader look like in 2016?
Leadership styles have always evolved, but there has been a seismic shift over the last 15 years. The old ‘command and control’ style of leadership is totally unacceptable to Generation Z (those born from the late 1990s onwards). Employees don’t want leaders that simply tell them what to do; they demand their leaders listen, coach and empower them in a way that inspires them to grow.
For senior leaders born long before either Generation Z or the post millennials, this can require a total mind shift; so here are my five Dos and Don’ts for being a good leader in 2016:
- Be authentic
- Be visible
- Make your staff feel special
- Be decisive
- Ask a question: e.g. ‘Have you ever found X to be a problem?’
- Offer a benefit or solution: e.g. ‘We all know X is a problem – well, I’d like to offer a solution.’
- Start in the middle of a story: e.g. ‘So there I was, just 21 years old, when …’
- Don’t big yourself up
- Don't bring your personal worries into work
- Don't avoid the elephant in the room
- Don’t rush
- Don't treat an audience as one mass
So, to be a good leader in the modern world, there are three fundamental things we need: energy, clarity and humanity. If we can show all three, we will come across as focused, authentic and charismatic. And we will be able to connect with Generation Z as well.
By Robin Kermode, founder of Zone2