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Leadership Written Assignment, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 643

Research Paper

There are many factors to consider when we look at how leadership will change over the next ten years. The way business is done is changing. The skills and face of the workforce are changing. The baby boomer generation is giving way to the millennium generation and in ten years, many aspects of the workplace will be unrecognizable to some of today’s employees and employers. This means that leadership and management strategies must also change to allow for differences.

This change is happening now and differences that will distinguish the workplace in ten years can be foreseen based on today’s workplace. Differences in leadership will include management strategies, communication paths, promotion criteria and reward systems to name a few. The traditional “command-and-control” type of management popular in much of today’s workforce will have to go. (Armour, 2005) Instead, there will exist an environment that encourages employees to speak their mind and ask questions. Communication will be much more web-like, instead of the linear system seen most often today. Transitions within fields and across fields will continue to increase, so that time spent in a certain career decreases and the number of careers an individual has over the span of their work-life increases. Reward and incentive systems will become much more important when recruiting and seeking to retain employees.

The differences outlined in the previous paragraph present myriad challenges for leadership over the next ten years. Independent thinking and creativity are wonderful characteristics, but an employee who questions everything they are told to do can be very frustrating to a fifty-year-old manager not used to having to answer such questions. An employee who thinks it fine to take a problem or an idea straight to the person that can handle it best, instead of going though established channels, will create problems with other employees used to the traditional linear communication system. Employees that are used to a chain in command are likely to feel slighted or overlooked and to resent the apparent disregard for the traditional system.

The eagerness of Gen Y employees to move to the next level or onto the next interesting thing also creates challenges. Gen Y employees take direct action, such as taking a new idea directly to a head executive, that can be seen by traditional employees as disrespectful and disregarding the old “work your way to the top” system. When traditional employees take this behavior personally, strife can be created within the workplace making it difficult to operate efficiently. Another challenge presented by the itch for advancement is faster turnover. Training must take place more often. There are challenges with recruiting and retaining, also. Incentive programs and rewards, such as schedule flexibility, telecommuting, tuition reimbursement, online mentoring tools that appeal to Gen Y workers, need to be cultivated and promoted. (Armour, 2005)

There are basic skills that all leaders need, such as integrity, commitment, prioritizing, coaching/training, and problem-solving. Leadership will need to acquire a new set of competencies to successfully deal with the management challenges to come over the next ten years. Organizational agility and organizational resilience will become more important over the next ten years and leadership will have to know how to cultivate and maintain it. (Lee, 2010) Tomorrow’s leadership will have to become adept at communicating worth and providing ongoing employee reviews. It will be increasingly critical for leadership to know how to provide constructive feedback. (Lee, 2010) Leadership in ten years will need to be able to maintain a web-like communication and interactive environment filled with buzz about the company that keeps employees interested in and feeling like an integral part of the company.

Bibliography

Armour, S. (2005, Nov. 6). Generation Y: They’ve arrived at work with a new attitude. Retrieved Nov. 25, 2010, from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2005-11-06-gen-y_x.htm

Lee, D. (2010, July 14). Are Your Managers Prepared for the Seismic Shift in the Workplace? Retrieved Nov. 26, 2010, from TLNT: http://www.tlnt.com/2010/07/14/are-your-managers-prepared-for-the-seismic-shift-in-the-workplace/

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