What is particularly interesting with the list above is the amount of knowledge and training involved — from “try it yourself” without reading the instructor’s manual to a few weeks worth of training. Even if it’s true that practice makes us masters, the problem is that some knowledge cannot be guessed. When it comes to entrepreneurship, and specifically leadership, this is also true.
Nowadays, anyone with $300 can set up a company that can rapidly grow, and the entrepreneur will have to turn into a leader. This is where leadership skills and a knowledge of organizational psychology is needed. However, there are no webinars that can pack 25 years’ worth of study, practice and real-world experience into a couple of hours and, in a world of instant gratification, who has the time to take the time?
Times have changed, and one might argue that in today’s world, knowledge is just a click away. But while times have changed, the human brain hasn’t, and since leadership is all about human behavior and emotion, there is simply no shortcut to understanding it.
On the one hand, there is no time for training or learning since businesses can’t be put on pause (or so it would seem until February 2020). On the other hand, without skills and knowledge, entrepreneurs will gamble their success on personal failure. How do we solve this problem? What is the new leadership paradigm?
I believe that leaders have to become skilled in human behavior and social intelligence. They have to become motivators — a coach with a human touch that can “feel” the mood and motivation of every team member. It’s often said, we don’t have to become friends with the people we work with. In my opinion, the leaders of tomorrow need to be that “friend” we can count on, that brother or sister that encourages us to do better, that teammate that show us things we didn’t know we had in us and that will leave us better than they found us.
I was chatting with a colleague recently about the future of the leadership paradigm and she pointed out how leaders must make a shift from an individualist point of view to one grounded in human psychology and authentic connection. In other words, it needs to be more about “we-thinking.”
Why is it so important to concentrate on a humanistic approach when doing business? The answer is obvious: Money alone cannot buy a good team, and without a homogenous team, even the clearest strategy or goals won’t be feasible.
To illustrate my point, let’s talk about soccer. Famous clubs buy individual players from various countries with excellent skills and abilities, but often ignore the fact that most of those players have an ego that will require a stadium to be built around their heads. Coming from different cultures, and therefore different ways of communicating with each other, this can lead to major misunderstandings on the field that could cost the team the game. Unable to work efficiently together by practicing different soccer techniques or having a different vision of the game, leaders and trainers could experience failure and frustration more often than success. Soccer is a collective sport so collaboration is a must. It’s a strategic game that can only be won with a total team effort.
Team Iceland surprised everyone at the last FIFA World Cup when they beat some of the favorite teams of the tournament. Yet they faced many disadvantages:
• It was the first time the team had participated in the tournament, so they had no experience when it came to the big game.
• They were the smallest nation competing and had a smaller budget.
• It was the only amateur team where every player had a full-time job on the side, so players had less time to practice.
• Due to weather conditions in their country, training outside was extremely limited.
But team Iceland had a few secret weapons, too:
• A homogenous team culture where everyone understood they were a part of a whole
• A selfless spirit where no one player was trying to shine brighter than his teammate
• A sense of honor and duty that would make every Icelander proud
• An almost telepathic way of communicating, due to a solid cultural identity
• The motivation to compensate for any lack of technique or budget
In my humble opinion, leaders of tomorrow must scale up their humanistic knowledge by understanding the fundamentals of human behavior, the core of motivation and the essence of team spirit.
Whereas yesterday’s leadership may have mainly been based on a single individual’s vision and ambition, let’s hope tomorrow will see the humanization of our team where visions would be globally shared and ambition would be measured by the number of people we help.
This content was originally published here.