Is leadership still necessary in today’s high tech, cyber-world of instant multimedia global communication, social networks, texts, email, Skype, etc. and in exceptionally flat corporate management structures where unstructured collaborative groups seem more important than organized departments?
YES!!! is the very emphatic answer. Our working world is starving for true leadership. Many managers and persons in upper and higher level positions of responsibility do not have specific training or background in leadership, and therefore tend to confuse the use of IT and application of metrics for the application of true leadership. Too many upper level managers believe that their positions or titles give them complete control of the team members or employees under their management and that they are obligated to serve the leader’s needs and desires.
Every organization, team or group of people which is formed to accomplish some goals or to participate with success in business, sport, education, and daily life must have a clear leader to guide, support, influence, motivate the team to achieve the goals. People look to leaders for direction, support and encouragement as they do their best to do their part of the team’s work. Unfortunately, the very technological capabilities which have allowed us to communicate with others world wide instantly have also caused inordinate, unexpected, unproductive stress in our working lives. This ease of communication has resulted in unrealistic expectations of instant response to the each email message. Years ago, I personally managed a large portfolio for a company that unrealistically required its managers to respond to every email within two hours. The result of that directive was paralysis and loss of productivity, because the sheer volume of email messages caused managers to spend most of their time reading and responding to emails rather than actually doing the many real requirements of their jobs. Leaders understand that it is their responsibility to create and maintain an environment in which their teams can perform at their very best without unnecessary outside influences or frustrating roadblocks to project accomplishment.
Leadership is personal, involved, dynamic and practical. It is consistently applied to all areas of team interaction and effort to clarify and communicate the vision and to illuminate the pathway to accomplishment of the goals and support and reinforce the efforts of the team. Leadership is a continuous process which requires commitment and involvement of the leaders in the activities and well-being of the team.
Lead with COURAGE!!