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Leadership in a world of change


Emerging challenges in the existing economic downturn requires a new kind of leadership model, one with a different idea of what power and leadership is and how to use it.  In order to come out on top and be successful at the end of the existing recession,  managers need to understand that leadership includes committing to life-long learning, embracing change, and accepting ideas and input of employees.


There is a new pace of change.  Corporate america as we knew it is forever changed.  It is not enough that dramatic changes have already transformed organizational leadership, but more is coming with the promise of transforming our society and organizations in ways that few can perceive and of which many are fearful.

Today's workplace holds different values about work and there may be multiple disagreements.  To work effectively and be successful, we need new organizational mindsets and leadership.  We need to understand ourselves and each other.  Organizations are composed of people/employees.  The challenges people face in their personal lives are brought to the office each day.  Statistics show that 96% of workers come from dysfunctional homes experiencing either divorce, separation, disruptive chemical dependency, psychological disorders or abhorrent social behavior.  If this statistic is off by 20% or even 50%, what does it say about the challenge faced by corporate leaders?

Leaders are striving to lead people who come to work armed with attitude problems, mistrust, resentment, and cynicism, added to the problems they develop while in the workplace.

What makes employees feel reassured?  One of the key ingredients to a satisfied job is top management that helps employees feel as if they are important as individuals.  A survey conducted by Working Women found that the key ingredients of a satisfying job include:

  1. Interesting and challenging work
  2. Job stability
  3. Management who makes employees feel important as individuals
  4. Management providing feedback on performance
  5. Rewards strongly related to performance
  6. Effective management and departmental goal setting
  7. Opportunities for advancement
  8. Effective communication and relationship building with immediate direct-reports
  9. Management effective in avoiding crisis situations
  10. Reasonable and fair workloads

The discrepancy between what employees want and what managers think is amazing.   How can managers/leaders influence by design if they don't know the wants and needs of the people they are leading?  That answer is they cannot.  And what occurs frequently in far too many organizations is the growing incidence of influencing by accident, not by design. 

Going forward, if leaders expect to come out of the current recession with a successful work environment, they must be masters of influence by design using tools and skills at their disposal.  This is a "must have" - not a choice.


Cathy Holloway Hill is a Certified Career Consultant. Click HERE to visit her Facebook page or click HERE to download archives of her Radio Show archives with interviews from celebrity guests empowering listeners to lead by design, not by accident!