Boss and employee, a tale as old as time. For many years, the concept of corporate culture has been engrained in us from a young age as we are raised in a hierarchy from the start. Whether it be parent and child, teacher and student or any other relationship where one party asserts dominance, our perception of ‘office life’ has always been one of imbalance.
As the nature of leaders in the workplace as company culture moves away from an authoritarian approach to a more equal playing field, we examine what this means for aspiring change makers.
There are many ‘types’ of leaders; most people will be a combination of them, but to understand what type of pioneer you aspire to be, you must know what the primary motivation behind what you’re striving for is. Are you a leader of change, one who sees an itch and needs to scratch it? A service leader, passionate about championing the customer in every capacity? Or one who thrives in seeing results, and takes calculated risks to reach measurable goals? The list goes on, but the first step in making sustainable change is to understand the why.
It’s important to remember that you can spread innovative ideas or tackle challenges from any position – you don’t need to be a senior leader or a formal manager to implement change. Finding ways to develop your skills, taking on more responsibility and capitalising on opportunities to enhance your profile for gaining that promotion with your current or new employer are the stepping stones to senior roles. Putting in the groundwork before the title not only offers learning opportunities but will also mean there is a running start should you then secure that first-time management position.
Organisational leaders can’t wear all of the hats; everyone in the business ecosystem has their strengths which should be honoured in their job role to ensure optimal success. It has been interesting to discuss this with our clients, some of whom have created new roles with consideration to the fact that some people are perhaps not people managers, but client service professionals, and have structured themselves to be able to offer that growth through different job routes. Equally, we have clients who offer more senior level roles that require experts and well-versed professionals without having line management responsibility.
You can emulate being a mover and shaker in whatever part you have to play. You do not have to be at the top to show you are an innovative thinker and an asset / potential asset to the business; you just have to embody leadership attributes and drive with your primary motivation.