Not so long ago I came across this quote from Albert Einstein that states “the true measure of a leader is how they treat their employees, not their equals,” and it reminded me of some of the conversations I often have with my clients. When it comes to leadership and the way leaders treat their staff, the landscape has changed a lot. I remember a time when autocratic leadership – meaning pretty much dictatorial – was the norm.
Today, this leadership style doesn’t fly, and those who attempt it learn the hard way as they snuff-out enthusiasm, negatively affect production, and end up loosing their employees pretty fast!
In contrast, many of today’s leaders generally offer a mix of leadership styles such as “SERVANT”- by giving the priority to their teams’ needs and encouraging group decision-making.
“DEMOCRATIC”- by making sure everyone has the opportunity to provide input before decisions are made, and finally
“TRANSFORMATIONAL”-by inspiring their employees through the effective use of communication, offering a vision for the future and providing the tools to achieve their goals.
I call this mix of leadership style a POSITIVE AND COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP – one that provides an environment where employees are listened to, where teamwork is nurtured and people aren’t afraid to ask and try new things.
It’s the leadership style that essentially creates healthy workplaces. From my experience, these workplaces tend to retain the best employees and see higher returns. Part of my work with my clients who are looking to recruit top quality employees is to discuss their leadership style and their organization’s work environment.
After all, beyond the knowledge, skills and experience required of new recruits, the right candidate is actually the person that will thrive in their new environment and respond positively to the leadership style in order to contribute to the organization’s success!