A growing school of thought in the business leadership circle is that leaders should abandon the old school style of leadership in favor of a new school approach. In today’s environment, most executives and leaders need to be good at both styles to succeed. These combating styles will create tensions leaders will need to navigate to become as good a leader as possible.
- The Expert vs. the Learner
Typically, leaders become leaders in their field because they’re an expert in their line of work. In today’s day in age, leaders must accept that their area of expertise is limited and can always grow by further learning. Failing to recognize this need for continuous learning can lead to poor decision making.
- The Constant vs. the Adaptor
The old school approach to leadership subscribes to the idea that leaders should stick to their guns and focus on consistency. Meanwhile, the new school approach says that leaders should always be adapting to these fast-changing environments. Leaders should have an understanding of when to be consistent and when to adapt.
- The Tactician vs. the Visionary
Old school leaders follow well-defined plans and rarely venture from the path they know works. Meanwhile, new school leaders have a clear vision of where they want to end up without following a traditional path. Without balancing these, leaders run the risk of not having a clear set of goals or having unrealistic or intangible goals.
- The Teller vs. the Listener
Old school leaders would rather tell others how to do things and when to do it. New school leaders listen to those around them and weigh everyone’s opinions before making decisions. Leaders should be able to balance providing leadership and asserting themselves, and taking advice from others.
- The Power Holder vs. the Power Sharer
Old school leaders lead from the top and make executive decisions based on what they believe is best. New school leaders empower those below them to make choices to help achieve goals. If not balanced, leaders can undermine their own authority by not being too assertive or alienating those below them by not sharing.
- The Intuitionist vs. the Analyst
Old school leaders value their gut to make decisions by using their experience as a point of reference. New school leaders make decisions based on data and numbers. Leaders should be able to balance making decisions using their experience and basing decisions on data and numbers.
- The Perfectionist vs. the Accelerator
Old school leaders believe in taking their time and making sure everything is perfect. Meanwhile, new school leaders believe that sometimes it’s best to do something quickly and fail fast than take too long. Balancing these allows you to still reach deadlines and launch dates while not compromising quality.