Bill Gates once said, “As we looked into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”. This quite sufficiently describes what is, in my opinion, the new leadership. The way to describe how the old leadership differs from the new leadership can be summed up in one word: sustainable. Compared to the old leadership with a very rigid, tip down approach, the new leadership style is more sustainable and holistic, with power flow in all directions and flexible way of carrying out tasks and activities. The new leadership style weighs a lot on ethical and social responsibility.
One of the most significant differences between the old and the new leadership styles is the way the relationships are forged. Relationship in old style leadership is characterized by a hierarchy, top-down relationship with great emphasis on power and control in the hand of the leader, where the leader has the utmost control and authority. Information is usually proprietary for the leader and is usually guarded, with very less flow from the leader to the followers. The leadership focus is to gain control and recognition of position, which usually involves tactics such as manipulation and fear. The new leadership mechanism is the complete opposite of it. The power structure is no longer a hierarchy, but resembles more of networks and communities, with each individual being a node in the network. The leader empowers the individual, both directly and through the network of the individual. Information is no longer guarded, but flows freely between the leader and the followers and is shared across the boundaries. Efficiency through mechanization is not longer the mean to achieve the goal, but the goal itself changes to innovation and creativity, consisting of self-development and learning. The new leadership styles involve taking credit as a team, but responsibility still falls on the shoulder of the leader. Leadership tactics evolves into empowerment and persuasion...
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