Leadership is not about hierarchy
Nothing shapes and sustains credibility like a leader who leads by example. It’s no secret that actions speak louder than words, particularly when your philosophies and behaviour can motivate your employees to do their best or their worst work.
Some managers lead from the front while others prefer leading from behind. Leading from the front requires taking the initiative, being decisive, leading by example and being entirely accountable. When you lead from behind, you generally step back from the action while allowing others to control the process and share ownership and accountability of outcomes.
A company’s leadership structure generally standardises how workflow, accountability and authority work together. Traditional hierarchical leadership employs a top-down structure with a powerbase that filters down to the company’s lower management levels.
A hierarchy is a logical structure in which the power belongs to the position rather than the individual, while a company without a hierarchy is decentralised across a flat organisation, providing employees with a higher level of responsibility and accountability for their work.
For a company to grow, its employees also must grow. The way for leaders to improve the working ethos of their team is to commit to a greater challenge themselves. By setting the example of notable discipline and displaying a higher level of drive, a leader encourages employees who report to them to adopt a greater standard as well. It’s contagious!
The evolution of the modern workplace is changing to embrace new leadership cultures. In future, successful leaders may need to shape their organisations to be more responsive, flexible and less hierarchical to better manage, organise and deliver internal and external value.
To exploit the power of their employees, leaders must be dedicated to building a supportive culture under an effective organisational structure with practical employee processes.
Leaders have always been required to actively develop, engage and motivate employees. Organisations that do not foster or invest in proactively developing their talent pool or lack the right employees with skills in the right areas are more prone to unforeseen changes.
Whatever your management style, leadership is not about a job title or where you sit within the company’s hierarchy — it’s about being unselfish and fostering relationships to enable you and the organisation to achieve its outcomes.
In a modern business world, it is unwise to have your leadership team sit in one place for too long.
Comments welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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