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Defining Leadership

It is clear that the definition of leadership is changing. It has been debated that this evolution in leadership may have been caused by demographic trends, new economic realities, emerging organizational structures or the expectations of the millennial generation, but the one thing we can all agree on is that today’s leader looks much different than that of past generations.

The focus of many recent articles has been on the reasons why this shift has occurred and what defines the new leader; little attention has paid to how this important workplace transformation will impact the ability of organizations to manage their workforce and identify future talent for key leadership positions. It has become clear through recent surveys that organizations have identified that ability to attract, develop and retain young leaders is their number one concern and will be the biggest influencer on the success of their company in the coming years.

We keep hearing that finding young resources with leadership qualities to fill this growing gap is difficult and that this new generation of workers simply does not have the qualities required to lead. Yet, organizations keep trying to fill these key positions using outdated job descriptions and competency profiles, within an outdated workplace structure and expect different results. Through our extensive interactions with organizations around the globe, I have seen firsthand that there are plenty of capable young leaders ready to take on the challenge. It may in fact be the case that it is not the resources that are lacking, but rather that organizations are maybe looking for the wrong type of leadership profile to succeed in today’s market.

In order to be successful moving forward, organizations should be approaching their leadership development activities to reflect these new realities. While the common refrain has been to ensure that organizations provide future leaders with tangible and immediate opportunities, the opportunity to influence decisions and directions or a flexible work structure, what we cannot ignore is the critical foundation required for these resources to become effective leaders. Above all, there should be a concerted effort and development plan to ensuring future leaders understand and grasp the basics of business, finance and people management skills. Training and mentoring should be focused on what challenges these future leaders will most likely encounter going forward and not looking back on what has transgressed in the past - issues such as managing virtual teams, work-life balance expectations of the new workforce, the impact of global occurrences on local operations and the effect of technological evolution as a disrupter to existing business models.

We hope that you continue to benefit from this edition’s variety of interesting articles, from technical viewpoints to fun and interesting pieces on leadership. As in every edition, we would like to thank you for your continued readership and the loyalty you have shown to EPSI and our COMPMETRICA assessment products.

Sincerely,

Franco Maimone
Franco Maimone
Executive Director