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Is your leadership style outdated?

While you may have mastered the ways of a traditional workplace, the strategies that led to your rise to power might not work anymore.

Your leadership style is outdated.

The workforce demographics have shifted, and millennials – born between 1980 and 2000 – now make up roughly one-third of U.S. employees. That means about 66 million young adults are changing the way companies do business, from how they hire and promote, to how they communicate with others.

Then, generation Z, with their general appreciation for social justice, and increased need so work-life balance, things are changing rapidly. Of course, change isn't always more accessible, mainly if one is used to leading in one particular way, but now you are faced with a younger employee or team player who has a very different view from you.

The problem here is that Millennials and Generation Z, born after the baby boomers, have different beliefs about work ethics. They also have a more inclusive view on how to get things done, which involves being able to relate to other people and a "team-player" mentality. They prefer a more open communication style for problem-solving instead of top-down leadership styles where managers or leaders tell you what to do. This has been coined as 'new management' because this new way of doing business seems to involve everybody in achieving common goals rather than just giving them orders from above. By adhering to these values, leaders will engage their employees better, allowing for improved company culture and increased company value overall.

However, I believe there is a place for wisdom and experience. There needs to be a compromise in the workplace, keeping in mind team dynamics and also the glaring fact that there is a business that needs to be run effectively. Also, depending on the industry, it is essential that employees are present during the typical working hours, so employees will need to work certain hours. I tend to think that the employees' needs should be considered first. For example, in an office setting where many people are not at their best in the mornings, I believe early hours may need to be relaxed somewhat so that productivity can be maintained.

I believe there are many steps to becoming a better leader, and I have mentioned a few below:

1) Empower your employees by giving them more responsibility, so they can experience being in control of their work. This will show that you have faith in them and are willing to entrust them with the pace at which things get done.

2) Get out of their way sometimes. Allowing people to make mistakes is excellent for developing self-confidence. It may be beneficial for you because if they mess up, it's pretty likely that you messed up too somewhere along the line! So don't hold onto every mistake your people make, instead learn from it together!

3) Leadership should maintain clear professional boundaries, as familiarity sometimes breeds contempt. Leaders have sometimes to make hard decisions, and at this time, having clear professional boundaries is an asset.

4) It is essential for leaders to make time for personal development. This can come in many forms, like reading books or taking courses on leadership skills. I know the importance of maintaining an online presence; therefore, building up a social media presence is also valuable for individuals who wish to take their careers into their own hands and become entrepreneurs.

The foundation needs to be in place for outstanding leadership to flourish. The key is in the hiring process. Specific jobs have specific skills and personality traits required to run successfully. I have seen it all too often- businesses that try their best to retain the wrong employee. If you are the owner of a company, your success depends on hiring the right employees. It will affect everything from morale to productivity; this all degrades financial success (or business growth).

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