What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we hear names like Microsoft, Alibaba, General Electric, Accenture or Unilever? Apart from being well renowned and extremely successful organizations, what else is the point of commonality between them?
They all have Great Leaders
Yes! All the organizations mentioned above have had some really great and influential leaders who, through their unique vision and proactive approach led their companies to such great heights of success. But were they always this way?
The case of Microsoft
In the 90s, Microsoft was a technological powerhouse. But with the rise of Apple and the iPhone, coupled with several other digital disruptions, it had to face a tough phase. However, since Satya Nadella was appointed CEO in 2014, Microsoft’s position grew substantially at a much higher pace than before (mirrored even more strongly in its Leadership scores).
By communicating a clear vision for the company, creating positive societal impact, and fostering a more transparent, empowering, and collaborative culture, Microsoft, today is among the most reputable companies in the world. It scores first in Governance and second in Workplace. Additionally, Microsoft’s CSR Index is second in the technology sector, right behind Google. It has also seen increases in supportive behaviors, most notably the percentage of people willing to recommend the company, say something positive about the company, or work for the company.
What does this report about Microsoft tell us?
Effective Leadership - The most important aspect for a successful enterprise.
A company without a leader is like a ship without a captain
The above report throws a light on why a good and effective leadership is extremely critical for an enterprise. While there are other factors too that contribute to organizational success, studies claim that Leadership and how leadership shapes the work culture are the biggest barriers to—and the biggest enablers of— successful agile transformations. It is the leaders and the top management that sets the vision for a company, clarifies goals and targets and drives energy across the organization to convert those goals into reality.
In addition to that, the most important role that leaders play is that they define a sense of purpose for the organization. Right from ensuring clear channels of communication to ensuring diversity and inclusiveness across all departments, it is the leaders, their efficient decision making, dynamic & bold strategies and constructive implementation which propels an organization towards favourable outcomes.
Leadership in the 21st century workplace
As we look ahead into the 21st century, leaders will be those who empower others.
With digital disruptions and technological innovations taking place at an unprecedented rate, the need for a strong and powerful leadership has become even more paramount in recent times. The new age economy demands the top management to be versatile, flexible and adaptable and one who isn’t autocratic in their approach but rather open and sensitive to its employees, stakeholders and customers.
According to a Pearson study entitled Global Employer Insights Research, top leaders around the world today are also looking at how they can upskill and reskill their employees in order to keep up with the modern industrial trends. This is because of a simple fact that when leaders lead their workforce to the right kind of skills and knowledge, they ultimately lead the organization to success.
- In fact, a whopping 93% of the top leaders around the world believe that providing practical mentoring, specialized training and bootcamp programmes will be necessary for employees in the future, to drive better results for the organization.
- 57% of the senior executives in India feel that they will need to retrain their employees on skills required for their jobs, in the next ten years.
- 55% of the top leaders agree that they will need to significantly invest in providing their employees with appropriate online/offline trainings, professional short courses and certificate programmes in order to thrive in the future economy.
Apart from this, the study also highlights the increased focus on various soft skills and corporate practices which are essential for increased productivity and overall growth of an organization:-
- Harnessing an atmosphere of creativity and innovation by encouraging employees to think “out of the box” and understanding their perspectives to find solutions
- Creating the space for healthy discussion and debate in the workplace by giving everyone the opportunity to share opinions and offer multiple standpoints
- Ensuring workplace diversity by allowing every section of the society to become a part and contribute to the corporate sector
- Having a democratic and decentralized working structure by following an inclusive, open ended and autonomous approach rather than an autocratic one
- Fulfilling social responsibility by engaging in initiatives that are for the upliftment and betterment of the society in which the business operates
Ultimately, the success of any organization depends upon how it is led and steered. For this, it is crucial that we make our employees feel valued and foster a culture in which they can unleash their potential to the fullest. It is high time that all the organizations took a comprehensive review their leadership policies and aligned them in accordance with the demands of the 21st century workplace.