Monday, September 25, 2006

Ten years of leadership

Gail Kenny from Gail Kenny Executive Search writes:

How important is leadership, in today’s online environment, and how has it changed compared to 10 years ago?

It could be argued that in today’s online businesses, with high levels of automation where the key resources are no longer human, and workforce numbers have diminished, that leadership is less important than ten years ago.

This, of course, is folly. Any business, however great its penetration online and its degree of automation, still requires good leadership. What I believe has changed is perhaps the type of leadership required. Motivation, communication, organisational skills and an ability to encourage team work all remain essential ingredients of a good leader.

However, more so than ever before it is the ability to create a compelling vision which is the critical factor. This is because in the online world, there is so much information available, so much choice, so much diversity, that it takes a strong vision to galvanise everyone to work in the same direction striving for a common purpose.

The challenge is made all the greater by the pace of change and development. Everything is happening much more quickly, and certainly in warp-factor speed compared to 10 years ago.

Competitors are able to close the gaps and play catch up on sales and product initiatives that much faster. So it is the organisations with the leadership embodied in vision and innovation, the ones that are prepared to keep pushing the barriers that will win.

Another critically important aspect of leadership in many organisations recently has been integration skills. Look at the acquisitions and integration issues that and Cendant have faced over the past few years.

It takes strong leadership and a compelling vision to drive through the integration at the pace that businesses necessitate.

There has also been a change in attitudes towards staff in the past ten years. Home working and flexible hours are common in most organisations today. Forward thinking businesses recognise the need to take a more flexible approach towards their employees and that in most cases they will be rewarded for such an approach.

How many people are logging-on in the evenings and at the weekends, Blackberry’s never leaving their sides? You are never far away from somewhere with internet access.

But again it is the compelling vision which remains so important when people are working remotely, where they are not in the office together with the rest of the team where it is so much easier gain inspiration and understand the common goal.

Gail Kenny, managing director, Gail Kenny Executive Search

1 comment:

rauf said...

thanks for your information,thats very important to me.