Having a leadership philosophy is critical in business. You can’t lead your team to success if you don’t have a plan for doing so.
The nature of this philosophy depends on many different factors, including your goals, how competitive your industry is, who you employ, and your own personality.
That said, you shouldn’t make the mistake of refusing to let your philosophy evolve once you’ve committed to it. Instead, your leadership style should change over time. The following are key reasons why.
Worker Attitudes Change
The leadership style that works for one generation may not be as effective for employees in another generation. If you plan on being in business for a long time, you will reach a point where you may hire younger employees who don’t respond to the same tactics that used to work.
For instance, motivating a team with monetary incentives used to be the primary component of many strong leadership philosophies. Business owners found they could keep workers engaged by offering competitive pay.
While that’s still important, it’s no longer enough. Surveys indicate that Millennial employees also want their employers to provide them with a sense of purpose on the job. A leader who understands this would adjust their style accordingly.
You Will Make Mistakes
Even the smartest people can’t develop “perfect” leadership styles. That’s simply because there isn’t one. As you gain experience, you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll also learn from them.
Consider the example of Steve Jobs. Few will deny he was a very successful leader who could motivate people to achieve goals some thought impossible. However, there’s also no denying that he was a far more effective leader when he returned to Apple than he was when he first started the company. He learned to have greater faith in his employees, and incorporated a “trust first” mindset into his approach to leadership.
You may have similar experiences as you grow your business. While you do need to begin with some sort of leadership philosophy if you want to accomplish anything, you also need to understand that it’s almost certainly imperfect, and should improve over time.
New Insights Emerge
Developing a leadership style should, at least to some degree, involve researching what styles tend to be most effective in general. You can learn from others to strengthen your philosophy.
That said, you can’t just stop researching this topic once you’ve developed your approach to leadership. Experts across seemingly countless industries are constantly arriving at new insights regarding effective leadership styles. Taking the time to learn about them, and taking the time to decide whether you should incorporate these insights into your own approach, is key to being the kind of dynamic leader who can adapt with the times.
After all, being open to change is paramount in business. By committing to an evolving leadership philosophy, you can ensure you’re taking another step in the right direction for you and your business.