In today’s dynamic world, how to influence change starts with reimagining leadership. It’s not about titles; it’s a mindset. Leadership is your responsibility, whether you’re an entry-level employee or a C-suite executive. Imagine being the owner of your workspace—would you rehire yourself every day?

Key Traits of Modern Leaders

To influence change, modern leaders exhibit distinct traits:

  1. Clarity in Communication and Vision: Forget lengthy mission statements. Embrace a vision that’s memorable and actionable. Think of Les Wexner’s goal for Victoria’s Secret or Bill Gates’s dream of a computer on every desk. Make your mission resonate on a personal level, like ensuring “your best friend’s on the line” in customer interactions.
  2. Collective Focus: A leader prioritizes the “we” over “me.” They support their team, share successes, and shoulder failures. They focus on the right actions, not the easiest ones, and encourage sharing knowledge to elevate everyone’s performance.
  3. Adaptive Leadership: Great leaders are both guides and followers. They’re open to learning and recognize that anyone can have the next great idea. They foster an environment where teaching and learning are simultaneous.
  4. Setting Clear Guidelines: Leaders define expectations and outcomes, providing the team with the autonomy to make decisions. They communicate openly to ensure everyone is aligned with the end goal.

Be the Change

Leadership is about drawing out the best in others, not being the best. It’s about taking risks, offering ideas, and working collaboratively. If you see room for improvement, speak up and take action. Embrace this new era of leadership and become an agent of change.