The Best Place to Start Leading is From… The Middle
These days’ people start talking about leadership like it is a corporate crisis. It seems like a baby boomer is leaving a huge gap in the field and there is no new leader among the aspiring young workforce equipped with the ample wisdom to follow suit.
Here is the truth though – we have more of a semantic problem rather than an organizational problem or a leadership problem. The main issue remains that, this is the new era of the internet and information, and the definition of leadership has evolved greatly. We actually need a new way of talking about leadership so that we can identify the new breed of leaders.
Leading from the top is the old view of leadership!
For the baby boomers, leadership was a game that they played to reach the finish line, and others would follow the suit. They often have to compete forever for everything, big and small, because there are so many of them travelling and almost racing on the same path towards success.
There are some generational conflicts when it comes to leadership. The present aspiring leaders expect to be treated individually and to be allowed to play the game with their own set of rules. And this idea contrasts with the baby boomers and comes out with better business excellence quotes.
Leadership style is generational
The other generations do not compete with the near gusto of the baby boomers generation. And we have a generation of primed heads for leadership, which is faced down by an era that fails to realize that the definition of leadership is changing rapidly.
The rookie mistake is to lead the way people would like to follow, and that is why Gen X has notoriously kept its hands in the leadership roles. Their generation does not care about who is in the lead as long as the work is getting done. From using an e-book to extracting the renewable energies, they master in every aspect of leadership.
Just like Gen X, the Gen Y is also averse to hierarchy and ranks, but their reasons are very different. They get the whole teamwork thing much better than the baby boomers or the Gen Xers. That is because Gen Y has spent their whole lives playing football where everybody gets a medal and have been in study groups where the idea has been to help each other. So, for Gen Y leadership, team performance in a non-competitive manner is more important.
Choose the Equidistant Point to Lead Better
The idea of authority has been changed by the internet radically. The classical idea of authority where people jump hoops of corporate hierarchies has taken a step down and has been superseded by the democratized and ubiquitous data. The changes in authority need to change the leading aspects of leadership.
Leadership should now start from the middle where leaders will start by giving ideas, rather than barking orders. The new breed of leaders is more influential than domineering roles because they grew up with democratized internet access. This is the best generation of leaders as it offers ideas as inspiration better than anyone else and teaches us the extreme strength of teamwork.