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The Future of Work is Changing

The impact of leadership style and HR strategy

By Georgia Rothon

Georgia is Oakwood's Associate Consultant and works in our Associate Team
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The world of work is, without doubt, changing.  Change is ten times faster that it was a decade ago, digital is becoming the new norm with over 30m people using YouTube every day.  50% + of the global workforce is under 30 and this is growing and as we learned from my previous blog from last year, millennials (ages 25 to 35 years old) require a different style of leadership, and as such a new style is emerging.   

This style of leadership is one that is emotionally intelligent, listens, inspires, motivates and knows how to get the best from their people and each and every team member.  Today people thrive on team leadership – sometimes known as Shared Leadership.  

Google recently carried out some internal research to establish what their best employees had in common – what was it that made them so successful in the organisation?  They learned that it was the ability to effectively coach their people – Coaching as a key leadership skill is, today and going forward, a real game changer!  Read more about Coaching & Mentoring  in Steve Harpum's blog here).

As Shared Leadership is becoming the ‘new’ way to lead, let’s explore this concept a little further.  So, what is it?  Shared leadership involves optimising all of the human resources in an organisation by empowering and involving people and giving them the opportunity to take leadership positions in their own area of expertise.  

The role of Shared Leadership isn’t easy, but it is possible and, in most cases, done well is highly successful.  The benefit to this approach is that power, authority and decision making are more widely and deeply dispersed both laterally and vertically, giving each individual an opportunity to learn and grow and realise their full potential.  This means that people defer to others who have more expertise.  This is not always easy for leaders to do!  

It is about empowering your workforce – giving your employees freedom to do their jobs, take the right actions, and given them the authority to make decisions in their day-to-day jobs that make their work easier and make things more effective and efficient for both the employee and the customer/client.  

So, what can leaders do to create a culture of shared leadership and maximise peoples talent? 

Let’s take a look at some ideas:

Define the limits of decision making for each role within the business.
Create a climate where people can feel free to take initiative and make decisions
Cultivate a climate where ‘its okay to make mistakes’. Where mistakes are considered a learning opportunity.
Don’t second guess the decisions of those you have empowered to do so.
Consider yourself as a resource rather than the leader
Show your vulnerability and authenticity – it’s okay not to know everything! 
Set appropriate review meetings and take corrective action if necessary.
Encourage a workplace that fuels collaboration between teams

If leaders delegate more to the people that are closer to the customer or client, they will have more time to focus on the bigger picture and driving the business forward.  It is WIN/WIN, leaders can lead the business forward and the team feel empowered and they develop a sense of accomplishment from their achievements, become more like partners and are invariably truly engaged to your organisation, creating greater success for all. 

So, I’ll leave you with some thought provoking questions:

Is this the kind of leader you aspire to be?  

If so, what will you do to develop this style further?

What impact does this have on your organisation? 

How can HR contribute to this?

If you are interested in learning more, here at Oakwood International we offer a range of qualifications in coaching and mentoring: why not join our thousands of successful students in developing your skills and career this way? 

Contact us for more information at info@oakwooddubai.ae or call one of our expert programme advisors on +971 4 359 9020.

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