“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter F. Drucker, management guru
The turmoil of the past year has upset decades-old ideas of workplace, employment, and corporate leadership. A recent article in Forbes Magazine addressed this pressing issue, calling for a new approach to leadership.
“At present, an estimated 50% of the UK’s workforce is currently working from home. In the US, an estimated 80% of company leaders plan to allow their employees to work remotely at least some of the time once the pandemic is over… Employee engagement is the key to success for almost all businesses, but findings show that as little as 15% of employees worldwide are engaged with their work.” ~ Forbes, January 27, 2021
The challenges to leadership are complex: how to recruit, train, engage, and retain employees in a highly decentralized workplace. When people no longer work together, or participate in water-cooler conversation, the social lifeblood of the organization is diminished. Without informal meetings and the seemingly random but highly useful mingling of staff, ideas are less likely to percolate.
The effectiveness of the entire organization, from shop floor to executive suite, depends on the leader’s ability to build and maintain a cohesive team despite the disruption. The use of technology is paramount, so the leader must be adept and open to change. Future thinking, the ability to envision the future and implement the vision, is required as never before.
The emerging task for leaders today is to develop connected strategies that deliver successful outcomes, including workplace safety, diversity, sustainability, and brand integrity. Inspired leaders will articulate the organization’s mission, ground it with authenticity, and communicate transparently. That will inspire others.