Leadership for Success: Are you the kind of leader who can survive & thrive in the 21st-century workplace?

The 21st century marked the beginning of a new leadership style which has now become indispensable for any leader. But has your brand of leadership kept up with the times?


Unlike the 20th century where bosses were expected to be distant, aloof and a taskmaster, the 21st century is reserved for leaders who adopt an empathetic, open and inclusive leadership style. This calls for a drastic change in the leadership styles that we are used to, especially with the growing influx of millennials into the workforce.

For leaders to thrive in the 21st century work place, there are a few skills that are indispensable. These include: 

1) Asking Questions

Leaders aren't afraid to ask questions even if it's uncomfortable. By asking the right questions, they are encouraging their team members to not work through the problem on their own, but also share honest feedback & inputs. This small step can improve accountability, trust, communication as well as allow for development of the individual. 

Also Read: The 5 Questions You Must Ask in Order to Lead Effectively

2) Sharing Credit 

Up to a quarter of a century ago, it was still very common for bosses to swoop in and take the credit at the last minute, negating all the work his/her team members had put in. This behavior doesn't sit down very well with employees now, who seek recognition & appreciation for their efforts. Therefore, in order to survive, leaders must learn to share the credit and sincerely acknowledge the contributions of his/her team members. 

Also Read: 6 out-of-the-box rewards for your top performing employees 

3) Willing to mentor & coach 

Employees need to feel that their leaders are invested in their personal & professional development. Therefore, 21st century leaders must be willing to unleash the true potential of their team members through coaching & mentoring. Conducting 1-on-1s on a regular basis and having conversations that can help them find their inner purpose is the new norm. 

Also Read: The Secret to Conducting Effective 1-on-1s that Actually Matter & Help Employees
click here for more leadership skills articles

4) Avoiding micromanaging

Authoritarian leaders who expected employees to do as they were told are a thing of the past. The future belongs to leaders to facilitate rather than dictate. By being a controlling micromanager, leaders will actually push away their employees and end up on the receiving end of resentment & mistrust. 

Also Read: How to Avoid Being a Micromanager

5) Leading by thoughts & actions

Leaders need to talk the talk & walk the walk in order to gain the respect & trust of their employees. Strong communication skills, powerful body language and credibility as a thought leader are essential. This, accompanied by meticulous planning, objective decision making & resourceful execution are key for any leader. ​​​​ ​​​​​​​ 

By imbibing these facets into one's leadership style, leaders can ensure that they continue to lead effectively well into the 21st century. 

Questions for Reflection

What are some changes you have made to your leadership style to adapt it for these times?

What other differences have you noticed between the two leadership styles ? 

Like This? Spread the Word!
Chaitra K

With a background in Literature and Psychology, and an MBA in Human Resources Management, Chaitra is responsible for the design and production of NKoach’s courses, workshops and corporate training programs. Her mission is to help people discover their passion and become better versions of themselves.

%d bloggers like this: