What is it that defines a modern business leader in his or her best context? Perhaps if you asked that question fifty years ago, you’d come to a very different answer compared to the one you have now. You may have imagined a businessman with a pressed suit, a cigar being smoked in the office, cufflinks that were carefully selected, with a wry smile and firm handshaking giving trust to all of those conducting business with the gentleman. This was the image he might promote, in order to fit within the role of running his firm.
But in 2020, business is much different, much faster, and also requires a much wider array of skills. How can we define ourselves as a modern, forward-thinking business leader in the best context? Is it to jump onto political trends as a form of marketing as many modern businesses seem to do? Or is great business leadership more than this, does it hold values of depth that we lose at our peril? It’s worth asking these questions, because it’s important to know what the best wisdom is, even if we hope to subvert it.
With the following advice, we’ll try to answer those questions, or at least explore them right alongside you:
It’s important to invest in the correct systemic approaches to your overall business planning. For instance, if you have yet to ensure the best IT support for your team, you truly have work to do. In order to trust those working for you, you need to equip them in the best possible sense, and contribute to a tech infrastructure that houses, supports and secures almost all of your daily operations.
No modern business leader can avoid doing this in 2020, nor should they want to. Ensuring you are continually connected to an immediate, responsive, and analytic team can help you identify and solve the issues that are the most important to you. This serves as perhaps the strongest example of worthwhile investment, but it’s by no means the only worthwhile cause. Great HR to manage your people, or great PR management to avoid the yawning threat of incorrect social media crazes can also be worthwhile to invest in.
An Open Door Policy
It’s important that you continually ensure your people feel happy coming to you with a range of issues. An open-door policy allows you to stay connected to your team of a reasonable size. It also helps you avoid using your management position as something that lauds over those belows you. Perhaps in some humble firms speaking to ‘the boss’ is considered some kind of sacred rite, but in your operations, you need to dispel that. Communication, honesty, encouragement and enthusiasm are much more important virtues to curate, and an open-door policy gets you there. This can also help you continually keep track of the goings-on both in and outside your office, as you designate yourself towards the best and most pressing solutions from day to day.
Holding A Vision
It’s important for a business leader to be a strong tree in the face of immense winds. They must be able to not bend by pressure, but apply that pressure themselves. Put simply, they need to hold a vision for the future of a business without seeing temporary market trends as something to subvert their entire decision-making process time and time again.
A strong vision can guide a company, and it can inspire morale in the team expected to implement said vision. It can also inspire investors, or help mitigate risks, and allow for the long-term to be considered. This approach is more than worthwhile to consider.
Ethical standards are essential to implement in the best possible manner. But without a business leader that believes in them, this will be found in lip service and never through true action. To start with, you might analyze just what issues exist within your industry, and how you may be the catalyst for change.
For instance, many modern business leaders are understanding the true need for them to contribute to climate awareness and sustainable practices. For instance, companies that have trouble switching up their manufacturing materials may donate a portion of each sale to mitigating charities that allow a problem to be helped, even if that’s not through direct action. With this example, and many like it around you, you may find that ethical standards are now a new norm for 2020. At least, you can make it that way.
With this advice, we hope you can emulate and then completely own the worthwhile traits of a modern business leader.