With the economic recession in full swing, the fortune 500 seeing an 84% drop in profits, and unemployment rates rising. One has to ask the question: "Is our trusted leadership model dead?”
If you wondered about this lately, you're not alone. Executives in board rooms all across the country are asking the same question. "Are the tried and tested leadership techniques failing? Should we show solidarity and hold course, or should we show flexibility and adaptability by reacting and changing our leadership methods?"
There are respectable arguments on both sides, and we will examine in this article. It's important to first understand however, that due to highly subjective nature of leadership, that many other arguments exist out there that I haven't included in this short article, and so this work in no way calls itself comprehensive! Why, you would probably need a team of 100 experts to conduct a several year research project to officially and accurately gauge the national attitude torwards leadership in all levels of business.
Old Leadership Methods Will See Us Through.
There are many reasons to suggest that the idea of sticking with old techniques may have merits.
Great leadership characteristics include solidarity, consistency, confidence, and determination. All 4 of these traits suggest that continuing upon a wise path would actually bring benefits in terms of influence and leadership. To hesitate, or make a U turn on such an important issue undermines your leadership and subsequently, your influence.
Also, old leadership techniques such as the democratic or bureaucratic leadership models have survived for decades, and have lived through recession before. Although admittedly economists are calling this financial crisis 'the worst since the great depression'.
Classic models such as the autocratic method, which still thrive in high-pressure work environments such as journalism and entertainment, will very likely weather this storm. In these industries - managers need to retain an extremely tight grip on creative talent, to protect the company from watchdogs and negative public reaction, as shown by several recent scandals. Therefore classic leadership models are certainly still alive in several industries.
New Leadership Models Are Needed.
In the other corner, proponents of new leadership techniques that are more appropriate for the new age of this global economy argue that outdated techniques will hold back a company just like an outdated production technique. Staying on course, they argue, is simply like staying on board the titanic. And only by jumping off the ship and changing direction, can one change the dark fate of a company right around.
New leadership models that focus on employee empowerment, leadership 'teasers' and democratic decision making will face their first real test in the coming years. Leadership models may work perfectly fine during a boom, but are never severely tested until jobs become at risk and staff members become stressed and desperate. Only in extreme work environments such as those, will a model truely be able to prove itself.
I emplore you to continue the debate, and look into the many different leadership models that different managers subscribe to in the modern day!