Are you a 'whitewater' leader?

Written by
Changeboard Team

12 Jul 2011

12 Jul 2011 • by Changeboard Team

Good leadership is vital

In the 21st Century, slow moving flows have disappeared. Leaders now find themselves hurtling down rapids, so whitewater leadership is the new corporate necessity. Current competitive strategies often include mergers, acquisitions, restructures, outsourcing, streamlining or downsizing programmes. All of these strategies have one common theme.

Employees are moved around out of an organisation forcing managers to handle difficult conversations and awkward situations. As a result, management are finding themselves frequently swimming in a faster moving pool of change.

While the previously alarming year on year decrease in tenure of the average CEO appears to have slowed slightly during the recession, it remains the case that 55% of companies have no succession plans in place.

Leaders matter. They matter because more than 95% of all people in the workforce have bosses, are bosses, or both. They matter because they set the tone for their employees and organisations.

What's your leadership style?

Exceptional leaders come in many forms but share key attributes that enable them to navigate the ebb and flow of today’s organisations, providing calm and assurance but also inspiration, motivation and passion.

As a leader, you need to possess a long-term global mindset with good judgment and decision making rigour to evaluate risks and returns attached to different strategic options.

You need to be an innovator and change leader, be able to build a culture that supports the generation of innovative ideas and ownership for change. You need to be a talent developer, able to create an entrepreneurial spirit and build a team culture based on authenticity, accountability and caring.

Creating your leadership brand

In the current climate, it's paramount that leaders are visionary with a balance of short term and long term strategies. If the focus is continually short term, organisations are left vulnerable and as a result are on course not to achieve their required long term position.

You need to give your team the freedom they need to develop the structure of the business to ensure success. You need to be committed and convincing; a workforce needs a leader to follow.

If you achieve this, you will ultimately be recognised for their own personal leadership brand.

When you finally come through the rapid. It’s worth being there, the reward will be yours. However, the journey never ends – as soon as you have conquered one rapid another lies ahead.

Download the full report

Click below to download the full report into whitewater leadership.