Old leadership styles just won‘t work anymore

Sharon Olivier, Discipline Lead for People and Talent

“In times of turbulence, the biggest danger is not the turbulence itself but to act with yesterday’s logic.” - Peter Drucker

We live in times of unprecedented change and disruption.

Global challenges such as climate change, geopolitical battles and other uncertainties are developing to shape and reshape the world that we are living in. To name just a few, Brexit, US-China trade conflict, Hong Kong unrest, recent catastrophic weather patterns and more make the news headlines. They also impact the business and economic world in one way or another. In the world of work, on the other hand, the advancement of technology such as big data and machine learning is also changing how we, as humans, interact with non-human systems such as AI and robots.

Facing changes, we could not help but wonder: is it the time to adapt to new leadership intelligences and a fresh logic?

The answer is yes. Our research on Eco, Ego and Intuitive Leadership is here to help leaders and their teams to navigate their way through the rockiest terrain imaginable.

Before we dive deeper, what does this new leadership logic mean? To put it in a simple way, eco intelligent leaders see today’s workplace as more of an “ecosystem” of individuals and teams. They are less self-dependent and more interdependent. Ego intelligent leaders, on the other hand, are the shapers, having a tendency to rely heavily on what they can accomplish as individuals. Intuitive intelligence builds on the necessity to ‘sense into’ the bigger picture and the ability to capture the emerging patterns and interdependencies, future threats and opportunities.

The following are some handpicked top tips for developing Eco, Ego and Intuitive Leadership within your organization, potentially improving the working performance of your teams:

1. Eco Intelligence

Listen and become curious. Encourage and ensure that space is given for regular dialogue and for people to discuss and solve problems together, right across the organization. Embrace all ideas.

Conduct an organisational network analysis to identify and use the informal leaders (influencers) at all levels in the organisation.

Encourage, embrace and leverage new human and technology inter-dependencies such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

2. Ego intelligence

Managing self. Develop a clear sense of your value proposition and vision as a leader, what you stand for and what you believe. Be prepared to take a stand and to speak out. Embrace the mindset of building a personal brand.

Decision-making. Make clear decisions and communicate them well – make things happen.

Roles and responsibilities. Ensure clear boundaries for your team so they know what is expected of them. For example, their roles, what they should be doing and will be doing in the team so that everyone is on the same page.

3. Intuitive intelligence

Learn to know your intuitive side and voice your intuition. Learn to rely on your inner voice and innate wisdom that has developed over the years and express it with confidence.

When in interaction with others, take some distance and become a “fly on the wall” for a moment, and just notice what is really going on and what is not being said, what wants to be said, what is your intuition saying to you.

Tune into the bigger business purpose and then ask yourself whether all the incessant activities actually have an impact on the business purpose. Trust your intuition and creativity to come up with new ideas and possibilities.

Being an effective leader in a volatile business environment today involves finding the right balance and the agility to flex among eco, ego and intuitive intelligences. With these top tips in mind, your path to form a new leadership style can be rewarding and successful.

Ego, Eco and Intuitive leadership... a new logic for disruptive times” - Sharon Olivier | Kerrie Fleming | Frederick Hölscher | Viki Holton | Hult-Ashridge, 2019

Get the full research report here

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