Digital Leadership: Empowering People to Create Leaders
11 de May de 2022
11 de May de 2022
Just as there isn’t a magic recipe to become a leader, neither there’s a specific market where to find them. We can all be leaders in different circumstances and all companies, no matter their size, can work towards developing leadership. The key is taking a good look at yourself.
For some years now, companies have been asking themselves which would be the best ecosystem to attract talent and empower the one they’ve got. What they are doing now, is to take a closer look at the habits and trends of GenX — people who love their privacy and freedom, who are open to stimuli and visual impact and who are used to using maybe five devices at the same time. Traditional hierarchical and vertical formulas don’t work for them and there’s no room for despotic leaders anymore. “Build a team that is so talented that they kind of slightly make you uncomfortable to be with them, because you know you are going to have to raise your game to be with them”, said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO.
The empowerment of a leader takes place as a consequence of creating an ecosystem that supports that leadership. In order for leaders to grow in an optimal environment, first you need to know employees very well and set a corporate culture that will work as a ladder for them.
The concept of Employee Experience takes what we’ve learned from Customer Experience to the talent and culture departments. It’s all about understanding workers as clients and, just like we would with clients, pay great attention to their interests and needs, their journey inside the company and their points of interaction.
This process includes what comes before, during and after the professional relationship. That precision when it comes to understanding employees’ motivations will help you align with them and make it easier for new leaders to appear and develop.
Doug Conant, founder of ConantLeadership, once said: “In order to win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace”. As we were saying, the key to being successful is inside the company, not outside. You must look for it in the employee branding, through which we must imagine our own company as if it were a product. Making it more appealing will attract talent and make it easier for employees to evolve and progress.
Employee branding works around marketplace concepts: offering a good product, making sure you have a good location and a competitive value offer, as well as opening channels to reach future employees. This is complemented with a winning culture in which freedom reigns in all sectors. But it must be a well-planned freedom, with clear guidelines from which talents can then innovate and take an honest responsibility with the future of the company. This corporate culture must be institutionalised, even if it’s not set in stone or even written down, so that the future of the company won’t end up in the hand of charismatic leaders that may eventually leave the company.
Corporate wellbeing programmes have gained strength due to the pandemic. Companies are paying more and more attention to their employees’ wellbeing, both mental and physical — they are well aware that this will mark the difference that will help workers take their capacities to the next level. Corporate wellbeing has to do with any type of incentive that will help create a healthy ecosystem. It must be understood as a general framework in which to introduce specific actions.
Remote work has also grown exponentially due to the pandemic and coming back to the office does not always sit well with employees. Experts think that a 3:2 ratio (3 days in the office and 2 days from home) is the ideal. But digital working is not what’s really important… What really matters is having clear and well established remote-working policies, as well as well designed software that helps employees have a better experience while working remotely. Giving them a laptop and sending them their way is not enough.
Amazon is one of the leaders in talent hunting and one of the greatest companies in the world. There, leadership principles are open to anyone who enters the company, no matter at which level. Being a leader is a matter of attitude, not about your position or level. Leaders empower themselves with their activity, but companies need to know how to identify and empower them.
These are some of the principles and characteristics to recognise leaders according to Amazon:
Jim Goodnight, Co-Founder of the SAS Institute, says that “if you treat employees as if they are the ones who make all the difference, they will”. Companies have understood that leaders don’t just materialise out of thin air. Also, they are not only available for those who have a lot of money to hire them. Leadership is born out of the ecosystem you build, of the virtuous cycle in which the company operates.