Boss and Employee
The old-school model of boss and employee has undergone major changes in recent decades.
Between the advent of technology, the shift of working methodologies, globalization, and a more purpose-focused workforce, the workplace of today operates in stark contrast to the workforce of yesteryear. Employees are much more independent. They desire more flexibility and freedom in their work and are more inclined to be decision makers than those of previous decades.
Leaders in the Making
While this has presented unique challenges to those who lead companies, it also has presented a whole new workforce composed of leaders in the making. And that is a very good thing.
In the past, a select few leaders at the top would determine the vision and goals. And then the employees would be responsible for carrying them out according to the direction provided by leadership. In this model, employees were simply implementers. They had more to offer, but their potential was untapped. While the buzz words were “think outside the box,” what company leaders really wanted was employees who would just do what they were told.
This led to an era of employee unrest – where those who were spending decades of their lives putting the proverbial cog in the wheel started to lack a sense of purpose and feel a sense of disconnect between what they were doing and how it made a difference to society.
In this last decade or so, this created a burgeoning class of entrepreneurs – employees who set out on their own to find purposeful work.
Best-selling coach, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, and my trusted mentor, Dan Miller, calls this the “new normal,” where instead of asking, “What do you do?” the question became, “How are you making the world a better place?”
For many employees, there was no clearly defined answer to that question.
Leaders in the Workplace
As these changes have cycled through, leaders of companies are beginning to embrace the idea of collaborative leadership in the workplace – of giving employees an ownership level in their respective areas of expertise. As this authority is granted and respected, a renewed sense of value is taking place – where employees feel valued and purposeful, and company leaders realize the value of previously untapped potential.
We have witnessed the start-up of companies in recent years who have grown exponentially. In most cases, these are based on an approach which can be summed up in two words: collaboration and technology. These are companies built on the leader to leader model and not the boss to employee model.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Are you as a leader giving directions to your people, or are you raising your expectation of them to self-lead, and direct themselves?
- Are you telling them the company vision, or are you working with them to ensure they buy into vision?
- Are you dictating to them how to do their work, or simply providing the tools, training opportunities, and support for them to work in their strengths?
- Are you micro-managing employees, or guiding and coaching leaders?
Your success as a leader in this fast-paced, innovative era, is not in having employees who will simply do what you say. Your true success is in having a team of leaders who work together in an agile and innovative fashion to figure out what is needed and make it happen.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.