Times are changing, and so are we.

Leadership has an increasingly greater influence on the success of a company , although for different reasons than in the past. In a conventional command structure, management is responsible for controlling the results that employees deliver. Information flows are centrally managed. The roles are clearly distributed, the instructions come top-down. Managers regulate input and output. However, nowadays information flows quickly and everywhere with no regard for hierarchies.

Leadership today looks different. Other skills are needed, they play a more meaningful role than in the era of “instruction and control”. Leaders must serve as bridge builders to close gaps between the management and the operational business. They have a massive impact on the company success by helping to connect and orient people – especially in increasingly agile work teams.

Their new authority does not come about through power and commandment but through their influence on people. New leaders gain credibility by listening to worries and concerns and setting a framework that leads to better decision-making. “Creating context” is the key. They are strong in influencing peers in their organization and ensure that the pulling force points in a common direction. This is especially important in globally active organizations.

The best leaders create purpose and meaning, ask for the “how” instead of the “what” and know how to create an environment of shared responsibility. Good ideas can come from anywhere and the best idea wins. The task of the leader is to create communication channels that enable ideas to be disseminated and penetrated within the organization.

The new role contains -besides the classical ones – completely different requirements than in the past. Organizations must invest in leadership, develop it further and promote it. This starts with sharpening their new role. Skills are trained, a culture is shaped by recognizing and appreciating the new behaviour.

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