Every month, Leadership Issues reviews highlights/trends from features/articles on the subject of leadership appearing in the major global newspapers. Today we are reviewing the month of February.
The top four themes for February (in order) included:
1. Leadership and the future
2. Leadership and teams
3. Leadership qualities/characteristics
4. Leadership and change
There was a clear trend shift in February with less articles being published on women in the workplace and leadership styles (both of these themes dominated the headlines in 2014) and more interest and articles written on leadership and the future and dealing with change. There is a developing trend among leadership commentators speculating on the kind of effective leadership required in the post recessional world where the ‘established’ is being overtaken by the ‘emergent’: new economies are outperforming established ones, new social media companies headed up by young entrepreneurs are worth billions of dollars, emerging technologies are changing traditional ways of working and the Y and millennial generations are assuming more influence and control in society and organisations.
There were a few articles that stood out and are worth profiling.
The Washington Post published a good article, How to find time to develop your leadership skills by Tom Fox. There is a clear trend where leaders and potential leaders are finding less time to attend formal leadership development programmes because of time and budget restrictions and Fox explores an autodidactic route of leaders developing their own skills through setting their own learning goals, being mentored and reading books and online articles.
There was a good review entitled Employee Engagement Redefined in Business Standard of Hay’s Group new book Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future by Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell. The book, reviewed by Mark Royal, explores six megatrends that continue to transform the workplace (Emerging markets, scarce raw materials, diversity and aging population, freedom of choice, digitalisation and technological breakthroughs). These megatrends will have a profound impact on future types of business, recruitment and ways of working which future leaders will need to deal with through assuming a more engaging leadership style.
There was a highly provocative article published by Samuel Culbert in The Age entitled Performance reviews – get rid of them. Culbert explores how the traditional performance reviews are too boss-orientated arguing that they lack objectivity, drive up the internal politics/divide colleagues and impede personal growth. By eliminating them, Culbert believes a more authentic relationship will develop between boss and employee that will drive up teamwork, collaboration and productivity.
Lisa Quast wrote a very practical article, How to deal with a Micromanager, published in The Seatle Times. The article starts with a positive assessment of micromanagement (that micromanagement is inevitable when an employee is new to a role or where there are performance issues). If these two cases do not apply then the article suggests the employee engage with the boss, confront the patterns of behaviour and explore ways of building trust and confidence over time.
The Canadian national, The Globe and Mail, carried an interesting article this month, Why managers should embrace a mobile workforce by Michael Murphy. The article explores how the “ever connecting world” through technological development is challenging our classical understanding of teams and productivity. The article explores how leaders can stay connected with their team members by breaking the assumptions of holding traditional face-to-face team meetings and holding assumptions that productivity is something that only occurs in the office and permitting their employees to leverage the new technology in a smart way, allowing them to become more mobile and productive. This requires the leader to break with old assumptions, embrace the new technology and learn to trust.
The Huffington Post published a great article this month, Millennials: Underuse Them at Your Peril. The article connects with the trend of the importance of developing and nurturing young talent. It charts how the millennial generation are redefining and renegotiating the way we do business and the pathway to leadership and management. They are challenging established organisation’s assumptions that experience counts for everything and they expect to be regularly promoted and challenged or they will simply quit. The challenge is there for organisations to recognise and develop leadership potential regardless of age and tenure and to recognise the value that young talented millennials bring to the organisation in terms of their values, diverse thinking, ideas, enthusiasm, motivation, self-suffciency, problem-solving. The article ends with a stark message “It’s time to stop putting an invisible age requirement on promotions. It’s time to make fostering loyalty among your newest employees a priority.”
Click here for a full list of titles and sources from the February archive and remember to check the leadership in the news section everyday where daily articles on leadership are posted.