By John Arenas | May 5, 2014

Millennial Leadership: The New Traits and Tactics

Retire the iron fist: Nice guys don’t always finish last

Many CEOs and leaders- even some of the most famous and successful ones- have become notorious for their less than amiable management style. This isn’t solely attributed to peoples’ personal experiences with their bosses; conversely, it has grown out of popular movies, books and news coverage.  In other words, popular culture has shaped an image of how we expect leaders to behave.

In spite of this, numerous studies have revealed that using fear tactics within the workplace never pays off. It may scare employees into working harder at first, but eventually, it destroys the relationships between management and the rest of the office.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of leaders out there who are compassionate and empathetic towards their employees. Fast Company contributor and Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg reveals five traits effective leaders share and how we can learn from them:

1. Inclusive leaders commit to diversity.

They understand that it’s essential to hear all sides of the story to get a successful outcome. They value freethinking and know that diversity is the mother of meaningful brainstorming.

2. Creative leaders encourage employees to take risks.

They allow their employees—even the juniors—to speak their mind. They focus on innovation, and the success of their companies reflects that.

3. Ethical leaders have the highest ethical standards.

The most important of all five traits is transparency, and it reinforces these leaders’ efforts by preventing downfall caused by scandal or poor judgment. Additionally, they have an important social cause that always takes precedence over profit.

4. Balanced leaders don’t keep employees chained to their desks.

These leaders understand the flexibility that technology allows us, and their policies reflect that. They’re also not afraid to unplug for a couple days. After all, an overworked CEO can’t lead effectively, and his or her employees can’t excel without a healthy work-life balance.

5. Last, grateful leaders are never too busy to say “Thank you.”

The key here is remembering where you came from. Good leaders rarely begin at the top, so they really value the employees who make day-to-day company operations possible.

Salzberg reiterates that while compassionate leaders are making meaningful impressions in the corporate world, they are still less recognized than their more domineering counterparts. But trust us, the good guys are out there. Check out “Defining Workplace Flexibility” to see how one company is transforming the leadership norms to make work a happier place for management and employees.

Read Salzberg’s full article here.


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