Leadership 4.0 | How our leadership images change

leadership development

A manager is a person in a managerial position or a managerial employee in a company. Especially in the time of digitization, the leading or driving function of an executive is decisive for the development of a company. However, an analysis of the online job exchange StepStone shows that 2/3 of all skilled workers in United States are not sufficiently prepared for the challenges of the digital future.

Where does this opinion of professionals come from? Do executives really stand in the way of business-enhancing innovations or do they really not know how to navigate the “digital jungle” in order to use and apply the innovations in a meaningful way?

Managers as helmsmen in the direction of digitization

Dynamic markets and constant change are forcing companies to adapt their organizational structures and keep pace with change.
However, this means that it is the managers who have to initiate and navigate this change in the companies. But what skills do managers need to have to initiate and manage change?

One approach, for example, is the principle of shared leadership. It is a question of meaningfully dividing leadership tasks in a team so that the entire leadership responsibility does not lie with one person alone.

The characteristics of shared leadership and guided leadership:

Leaders act as helmsmen who guide and lead the team. However, the team jointly defines its own milestones and goals to be achieved and coordinates the leaders to achieve them.

  • The management responsibility is distributed among several persons in the team.
  • The differences between the individual team members are seen as an opportunity for innovation and new ideas.
  • The leader motivates the team and effectively combines the differences.
  • The tasks are distributed within the team according to requirements.
  • All decisions are made together in the team and all team members take full responsibility for the result.

New role relationship for managers and employees

Nowadays, eight out of ten specialists wish to work in a self-responsible team and to be able to act as self-determined as possible. The desire of many specialists for a fast career in a strongly hierarchical organisation is no longer as great as the desire for more decision-making authority and freedom in the workplace.

The classic manager, who is characterized by strong assertiveness and “omniscience”, is changing and must be in a much better position to identify and link individual employee competencies.

However, this does not mean that an executive does not need expertise, but that the expertise is shared with the project teams and power is redistributed.

Communication between managers and employees is becoming more and more important!

Digitization does not only mean change, but also acceleration at all levels. Above all, managers must be able to coordinate short-term project changes, manage communication between those affected and ensure smooth processes. In order to keep up with the speed of digitization and to be able to adapt to the constantly changing framework conditions, permanent communication between management and employees is necessary. This can, for example, be promoted via the company’s own Social Intranet.

In fact, however, this necessary communication is probably the greatest challenge for managers. Digitization enables flexible working hours and location-independent workplaces, which makes direct access to employees more difficult. Traditionally, managers should not lose their empathy for their employees. Digitization cannot be a way of responding to and understanding employees, and the interpersonal should not be lost in any manager. Finally, a StepStone study has shown that for nine out of ten professionals, the executive is crucial to job satisfaction.

Realizing Social Collaboration

Joint, networked cooperation is crucial for employee satisfaction and the success of managers in the company. With the help of a social intranet, managers become more accessible to their employees. It supports collaboration between managers and employees through a modern, proactive platform.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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