In my last article, some considered me a little blasphemous when I asked: Was Steve Jobs a Leadership Dinosaur?
In that article I spoke of the innovations and advancement Jobs had brought to our planet and I said that I admired his single-minded drive for innovation.
However, despite the near- mystical aura that surrounded him especially right after his death, I also said that as a leader he lacked certain qualities that are needed in this, the new economy. He built a highly successful company but I questioned whether that’s enough today.
You see, the path to lasting leadership is not as easy as it was in the days preceding the recession. It used to be that we put people in leadership roles because they looked the part or they had charisma or could issue orders that were obeyed. It turns out that’s not enough — Surprise!!!
The reins of power have shifted. People are sick of having to tug their forelock in hopes of receiving favor from the great and often entitled one called “the boss.” Rather than look up to the untouchable, aloof leader of yesteryear, people now want to do business with, partner with, and purchase from Transparent Authentic Leaders that they can reach out and touch and trust.
To be in business these days you better know how to get down and play at the level of the people you serve….wherever that is. And you can’t do that without having relationship.
That being said: relationship is NOT a one way street,
You Will Have To Let Your Employees, Co-workers, and Customers In.
As comfortable as the last generation of business leaders have been off in their ivory towers, the new leaders in business are going to be just as comfortable with really letting their co-workers and customers in. New leaders are going to have to learn to speak to those they are in contact with rather than at them.
Doing this is changing the landscape of corporate culture
If you want to succeed in the new economy, you will never get the level of loyalty it takes if you don’t let the people you work with know you as a person. People no longer want to be part of, or even do business with a faceless corporation. In the new economy, it is all about transparent leadership.
So how do you do this?
Let them know YOU. Let them see that you are a real person, rather than some corporate entity resembling a human being.
Your imperfections can and will assist you in your journey to being a highly effective and Authentic Leader because people want to know that they are not the only ones who have struggled. Forget yesterday’s leadership agenda of charisma and aura mystique! If that’s not who you really are, they will see through it far faster than you can imagine.
Remember people want to follow, and do business with people they trust, and that can’t happen without transparency in the relationship.
Possibly one of the greatest side effects of becoming more open and transparent in your leadership is that you will inevitably attract more like-minded followers. Rather than sitting in locked office and having to pay gatekeepers to protect you, you’ve got to be with those you work with.
As an Authentic Leader, your followers will naturally bring to you only people who are aligned with your business values (because no one is left guessing about what you want because you are fully present and transparent). This, by its very nature generates a corporate culture that is building momentum upon the leader’s values.
The implications are far greater than customers, or even “C level” executives. Being an Authentic Leader who transparently communicates also means you are likely to attract investors and a board of directors to your company who get where you are going. They understand the vision and are far less likely to fight against the next level you are working to take your organization to.
I would suggest that, as an Authentic Leader, you make it your imperative to become known.
Further, I suggest that you do this in all forums, whether it’s in person, shaking hands through introductions, giving presentations, or even in the environment that scares so many still battling with holding on to the old model of leadership– social media. No matter where you are, there’s a need for you to authentically show up so that those whom you wish to follow you understand your vision, your driving values, and your style of leadership.
How are you being transparent with your colleagues, employees, and customers?
If you’ve not been being transparent, what is it about this that you find uncomfortable?
If you are being transparent, what results are you seeing?
Finally, do you really want to succeed in this new economy? Then know it’s going to mean giving up the old familiar models and putting yourself out there as a transparent Authentic Leader.
I trust that you found this article valuable, if so feel free to send this to your friends.
I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please share, like and comment below!
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