The new paradigm of leadership
Before our world was digitized, a photographer had to learn everything there was to know about lights, lenses, cameras, effects, and film development. It was a full time job and without this technical knowledge you just couldn’t take professional photos. Then came the era of digital cameras and smartphones, and millions of people discovered the joy of taking five thousand shots to perhaps find one worthy of their time. Likewise, the last few decades have seen an increase in entrepreneurship. These days, it seems like anyone can be a photographer / DJ / coder / influencer / real estate agent / entrepreneur.
What’s especially interesting about the list above is the amount of knowledge and training involved – from “trying it out yourself” without reading the instructor’s manual to a few weeks of training. Even if it is true that practice makes us masters, the problem is that some knowledge cannot be guessed. When it comes to entrepreneurship, and especially leadership, this is also true.
Nowadays, anyone with $ 300 can build a business that can grow quickly, and the entrepreneur will have to become a leader. This is where leadership skills and knowledge of organizational psychology are needed. However, there are no webinars that can bundle 25 years of study, practice, and real-world experience into hours, and in a world of instant gratification, who has the time to take the time?
Times have changed and you could say that in today’s world, knowledge is just a click away. But while times have changed, the human brain hasn’t changed, and since leadership is all about human behavior and emotion, there is simply no shortcut to understanding it.
On the one hand, there is no time for training or apprenticeship since companies cannot be put on hiatus (at least it seems until February 2020). On the other hand, without skills and knowledge, entrepreneurs will bet their success on personal failure. How do we solve this problem? What is the new leadership paradigm?
I believe leaders need to become proficient in human behavior and social intelligence. They must become motivators – a coach with a human touch who can “sense” the mood and motivation of each team member. It is often said that we don’t need to make friends with the people we work with. In my opinion, the leaders of tomorrow must be that “friend” that we can count on, that brother or sister who encourages us to do better, this teammate who shows us things that we didn’t know we had in us and that will go away. better than they found us.
I was recently chatting with a colleague about the future of the leadership paradigm and she highlighted how leaders need to move from an individualistic perspective to one based on human psychology and authentic connection. In other words, it must be more about “us-thinking”.
Why is it so important to focus on a humanistic approach when doing business? The answer is obvious: money alone cannot buy a good team, and without a cohesive team, even the clearest strategy or goals will not be achievable.
To illustrate my point, let’s talk about football. Famous clubs buy individual players from various countries with excellent skills and abilities, but often ignore the fact that most of these players have egos that will require building a stadium around their heads. Coming from different cultures, and therefore different ways of communicating with each other, this can lead to major misunderstandings on the pitch that could cost the team the game. Unable to work effectively together by practicing different football techniques or having a different outlook on the game, managers and coaches may experience failure and frustration more often than success. Football is a team sport, so collaboration is essential. It’s a strategic game that can only be won with total team effort.
The Icelandic team surprised everyone at the last FIFA World Cup by beating some of the tournament’s favorite teams. Still they faced many inconveniences:
• This was the team’s first time participating in the tournament, so they had no experience with the big game.
• They were the smallest nation in competition and had a smaller budget.
• It was the only amateur team where each player had a full-time job on the side, so players had less time to train.
• Due to the weather conditions in their country, outdoor training was extremely limited.
But the Icelandic team had some secret weapons, too much:
• A homogeneous team culture where everyone understood that they were part of a whole
• A selfless spirit where no player tried to shine stronger than his teammate
• A sense of honor and duty that would make every Icelandic proud
• An almost telepathic mode of communication, due to a strong cultural identity
• The motivation to compensate for any lack of technique or budget
In my humble opinion, the leaders of tomorrow must develop their humanistic knowledge by understanding the fundamentals of human behavior, the core of motivation and the essence of team spirit.
While yesterday’s leadership was based mainly on the vision and ambition of a single individual, let’s hope that tomorrow will see the humanization of our team where visions would be broadly shared and ambition measured by the number of people we let’s help.