Leadership – Use your influence for positive outcomes

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The Future Business Formula is my new book that provides insights into the changing landscape of business and how organisations can adapt to succeed.

In this fourth blog in our series in the countdown to the book’s release in May, I provide an overview of Chapter 4 – Leadership, and explore what it takes to lead effectively in a time of disruption and constant change.

Principle Four – Leadership

As the world of Formula 1 has evolved, so too have the demands placed on its leaders. The sport is now heavily reliant on technology, and with that comes a need for empowered and fearless teams that are able to adapt to change at lightning-fast speeds.

Gone are the days of hierarchical command and control leadership styles that hinder creativity and innovation. Instead, the most successful Formula 1 teams are those that have a culture of empowerment, allowing each individual to play to their strengths and contribute to delivering world-class outcomes.

In business, leadership practices have not kept pace with the industrial revolutions of the past century, despite significant technological advancements. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, blurring the boundaries between physical, digital, and biological worlds, and driven by AI, robotics, IoT, 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies. However, leadership principles and practices remain largely unchanged from those developed during the first industrial revolution. It’s time for leaders to catch up and evolve their approach to managing and leading their organisations.

It’s important to note that we may embody aspects of multiple leadership styles, and that new leaders often emulate the leadership style they were taught.

Effective leadership styles include:

  • Democratic
  • Strategic
  • Coaching

Rarely effective leadership styles include:

  • Autocratic
  • Bureaucratic

Traditional “command and control” leadership is becoming less effective, with a shift towards “servant leadership” that focuses on serving and empowering employees. This requires humility and a focus on people rather than oneself. Leaders must balance radical innovation with operational excellence and create an environment that gets the best out of both the innovators in their business and those that run the business day-to-day.

True leaders don’t create followers, they create new leaders. To lead is a privilege, and our words and actions as leaders can significantly impact the lives of those we lead. In a time of disruption, what attributes are necessary for effective leadership that fosters an environment of growth and success for all?

  • Empathy is crucial for effective leadership
  • Empower people to encourage sharing of views and capabilities
  • Use tough love to nudge people in the right direction
  • Coach individuals who want to improve and develop
  • Balance autonomy and alignment to encourage innovation
  • Be a role model to influence company culture
  • Embrace complexity and adopt a systems-thinking mentality
  • Set expectations for constant change and support teams in the process
  • Create new leaders by providing opportunities for growth

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More reading:

Read Principle One: Strategy
Read Principle Two: Customer
Read Principle Three: Alignment
Read Principle Five: Culture
Read Principle Six: Talent
Read Principle Seven: Innovation
Read Principle Eight: Change & Delivery
Read Principle Nine: Simplification
Read Principle Ten: Organisation Design
Read Principle Eleven: Learning
Read Principle Twelve: Measurement
More information on The Future Business Formula

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Written by Adrian Stalham
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