More people have an audible voice than ever before. With opinions from multiple perspectives challenging the status quo on all sides, it's the consumer who decides which ideas proliferate. Which paper do you read, which blog do you read, what music do you listen to, which news network do you subscribe to, what brand of product do you put your money into? Each brand represents a voice, and we as responsible customers choose ones that resonate with our own views. We need to appreciate the shifting tides in what is seen as respectable and what is not.
Perhaps in the past, a good leader has been defined on how well they can hold their vision, their picture of the world. They then create products and ideas that fit this vision and market them. This has worked when positioned well and repeatedly advertised again and again, customers grow to be interested over time. Now though, things are not quite the same. We have a lot more on offer from a lot more varied sources. Perhaps this has diluted the quality somewhat but there are many plus sides. Equality is vastly improved with modern technology, and it is only education level and ability to manage the technology that truly sets one apart from another when given an equal voice platform.
Leaders have to adapt to a much more dynamic set of guidelines. The consumer market is no longer as directable as it once was, because we have gradually learned to be more savvy and to show more consumer responsibility. Progressive leadership allows us to lead in an environment that is much less in our control. It provides a system that enables a power structure to remain for practical purposes yet empowers the whole in a mirror image of the consumer market being produced for.
Here are four vital elements to consider when leading a path in the modern and progressive age.
Take Your Time
You're a leader, you set an example with your work and relationships. These things stick around in people's minds and serve as templates for their own efforts. So make sure you do things really well, taking time to get everything right. You don't have to rush or do a dozen jobs per day. Just get the main thing done as well as you can then begin planning on the next one. It matters that you don't resonate panic or reluctance to get stuck in, you are what the others look to for support.
Don't just look for people who share your vision, find those who expand it or bring new dimensions to it. The world is a diverse and multicultural place with an almost infinite number of directions an idea can go. Who and what is this for? A diverse team of different personalities can help enrich this process of discovery.
Stop Being A Know-It-All
No-one is a know-it-all, only it feels good to be considered an intellectual authority. We can sometimes get caught up in this sensation and rank that we stop being able to learn. If we think we already know the answer, the truth can stare us in the face and we won't see it. There'll be some excuse or non-related reason that prevents us from acknowledging the reality.
Work To Serve
We are not bosses who instruct and demand, no-one really wants to work for people like that. Perhaps some of us need to, if they lack the self-drive to get things done – who knows? Yet, as a progressive leader we work to serve. Our product is a service whether we make food or write a blog. We make something happen in the world that other people want. This is how we earn money isn't it? The top of the ladder still points in the same direction as the lower steps, and a progressive leader knows this. They do things in the way they want at the advice of those around them, acknowledging the guidance of those with more experience. When someone comes to you for leadership, be the prop that holds them up not the weight that holds them down.
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