The evolution of modern leadership is an ongoing process that is sweeping across the business world and changing the way that the most successful companies perform and moderate their practices. Leaders are changing their approach to running their business and altering the way that they are seen both within their companies and to the general public. One of the most important ways that this is being done is reinventing their position as a role model for their employees and other leaders of their industry.
The old style of leadership was more disconnected, with the CEO or upper management behaving as figureheads, providing general oversight and being the ultimate decision maker, but otherwise being relatively distanced from the general populace of the workforce. Today, a leader is in the public eye to a much higher degree, and must inspire their workers with their own behavior. In other words, they must lead by example. The most successful modern leaders are the first to arrive and the last to leave, and their life in the office and outside of it is heavily connected to the vision and goals of the company.
Their employees look up to them as the embodiment of company vision, and as the primary driver behind progress. They motivate and lead from the center, welcoming other contributions, but still maintaining a firm direction towards the ultimate goals of the business. Those leaders are genuinely passionate about their product and company, and are more interested in the effect that it has on society as a whole and the innovative standard that they are setting, rather than on massive profit margins and self-serving ends.
Without this change in focus, businesses will begin to fall behind their competitors, because there is an increasingly small space in the market for apathy or profit-driven progress. Consumers should also look to a leader as an admirable individual that they trust, and who they can see standing in front of the company and communicating its vision, new ideas, and up to date relevance in a way that the common man understands. As technology moves forward and products become more necessary, and subsequently more expensive, consumers want to be confident in their investments and purchases, and much of that comfort and confidence stems from their visceral feelings toward the way the business is run, and the personality of its respective leaders.
Being a role model is only one of the many qualities that current leaders must adopt if they intend to stay at the top of their industry, as well as a quality that young, cool leaders must embody in their early efforts to break into an increasingly competitive global market.