The future of leadership: insights on a paradigm shift

Mr. Martenstyn was bright, smart, perhaps a bit brash, but a real go-getter.

Educated and polished in the ways of the world, he had a flair for talking, and more often that not managed to clinch that deal by appearing to be more knowledgeable than he actually was and using considerable charm. He then found himself lost in details, for which he had no patience. His partner, on the other hand, was tenacious, dedicated and managed to put together and conduct the organization’s actual workings in a steadfast, meticulous manner.  His personality was not apparent. Together, the team had a pool of leadership talents upon which the organization thrived. Unfortunately, most of us do not have such balancing skills, nor can we expect such luck. There rests on us the issue of leadership styles and adaptation to an era of perpetual change. There has been a paradigm shift in almost every area of business stemming from competition on an international level, acute customer awareness, tighter regulations/and deregulation and sweeping changes in technology that enable businesses to transact from the dining table. Clearly organizational change is inevitable; it is happening, and leaders must march along to retain competitive performance. It also means that our natural resistance to change, our desire to stay within our comfort zones has also to undergo a radical shift.

Below are three common leadership styles we are familiar with. They may not work anymore.

The Autocrat, the leader is in complete control. He cowed down bright thinkers.

The Democrat: the leader who allows others to take control, but oversees.

The free stylist: usually an open air approach to work, which results in loss of focus while in the real traditional era, it lead to employees automatically taking honest control of their area due to common loyalty. It worked very well once.

Leadership today has to necessarily move with the times to stay in control with sweeping operational and procedural changes.  Leaders have shifted their mindset to redefine their businesses to cater to a larger geographical and cultural setting using sophisticated technology. As for those who don’t, we know of a small family business in a shopping Mall that is quietly dwindling in the face of online shopping, something their youngsters themselves confess to be doing all the time (“we buy simply everything on-line”).  What’s the paradigm shift needed in leadership of this particular business, for example? Has the leader missed something?

Here are some pointers:

Understanding that change will take place at a rapid rate and pace,

Systems will no longer work individually; they will be merged across the organization and to its networks across wider areas,

There would be issues such as privacy and cyber security,

These would lead to tighter regulations and new, unfamiliar audit issues,

Leaders are not born, unfortunately, and business heads would have to rethink on reshaping the entire culture of the organization to deal with continuous change, which means that the change will start with themselves. There’s more homework to be done to be able to make more considered assumptions, develop more courage and take more risks. Leaders would need to be more aware, more focused, decisive, confident and optimistic.  Add to all this honesty and accountability and it sounds quite a package.

The common mindset of plodding on with existing business models will necessarily have to undergo a radical shift. It is commonly thought that revamping the business incorporating best-known technology is expensive, but that need not necessarily be so. 

It has also been found that a sense of urgency matters. Take the case of the organization where whenever the CEO departed on a business visit, the organization lapsed into “relax mode” from senior managers down to the tea boy. When the CEO returned, the spark of alertness returned as would have been noted from the crisp salute of the security guard.

 It appears that imparting the vision and empowering the team are well-known strategies, but could the secret of a truly successful paradigm shift in leadership be – using modern technology and sharing the wins?

Created: 26th May, 2016


27, Lindfield Gardens
London NW3 6PX United Kingdom
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
General: +44 20 7097 8980
Hotline: +44 20 7900 2377

BQu Services (Pvt) Ltd

No.82, 4/1, Baudhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 04,
Sri Lanka
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
General: +94 11 258 5660
Hotline: +94 773 22 44 20

Join our community


Sign up for our email newsletter to get great tips and resources