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Future of Work Strategy- Evolutionary Leadership

July 27, 2015

Leadership strategies and teachings have evolved over the years. The focus on leadership has shifted from ‘autocratic’ and ‘hierarchical’ approaches to much more of a ‘shared leadership’ approach.

A Gallup survey in April 2015 found that 50% of those surveyed had quit a job because of a leader. found in a recent survey that turnover costs organizations 150% of an employees annual salary – put these to together and its evident that there has to be a better way for leaders to lead and that employees are looking for new and (r) evolutionary ideas to keep them engaged.

What is the solution?

Evolutionary leadership……which leads to the question ‘what is evolutionary leadership and how is it different than leadership as we know it?”

Leadership is a behavioral process that has evolved since the days of hunting and gathering – a leader was established along with followers. As leaders in the hunting/gathering era it was based on ‘life or death’ and therefore the leaders needed to be autocratic – somebody had to be in charge.

From there as work itself shifted from outdoor labor towards manufacturing and then to in office – leaders continued to use the foundation of ‘autocratic’ or ‘command and control’ as a primary leadership approach.

Fast forward to the 2000’s and as work became more technologically focused there has been less of a need for autocratic leadership and more of a shift towards a collaborative leadership approach.

Demographics have also impacted the workplace – those born in the 80′ s and 90’s had more exposure to creativity and fun in school and began to expect their workplaces to be more collegial, fun and with less hierarchy.

Evolutionary leadership differs from traditional leadership in that the main tenets are:

– Everyone is a leader with or without a title

– Collaboration and shared leadership are valued over individualism

– Growth and development are the keystones for each person regardless of title or position

Future of work research confirms that it is evolutionary leadership that will increase employee engagement. Individual leaders need to evolve his or her skills to include multiple perspectives, share power and focus on the whole picture versus singular departments or silos. The skill set to become a master evolutionary leader are very different than the traditionally taught leadership skills.



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