People seek a new kind of leader to lead them today.
It is no surprise that the world of work is a rapidly changing environment. The modern-day place of work is characterised by speedy technological advancements, evolving market dynamics, and changing customer expectations. Our people want a different type of leader to lead them into the future.
Introducing steward leadership
People favour steward leaders. A steward leader is any individual who embraces a people-centred mind-set of responsibility, accountability and service towards the organisation, its people and its resources. They prioritise the long-term well-being and sustainable success of the company over personal gain. Steward leadership is vital in the modern workplace due to the fact it promotes trust, connection and worker engagement.
Steward leadership also helps businesses navigate complex challenges and make informed decisions that consider the impact on various stakeholders in the ecosystem and the long-term sustainability of the business. Steward leaders need to be agile and have high learning agility. These leaders need high learning agility because it enables them to adapt, grow and thrive in the ever-changing modern workplace.
Steward leaders ought to consistently learn and acquire new skills to stay ahead and efficiently navigate these changes. High learning agility empowers steward leaders to have a growth mindset, to thrive in the modern workplace by embracing change, fostering innovation and continuously develop themselves and their organisations.
How have you experienced steward leadership? What has been your personal experience of self-awareness and how has that impacted on your leadership style? Have you witnessed the growth, people-centred and entrepreneurial mindsets at play? What was the impact?
We mostly focus on the capabilities when we talk about being a success in the digital world of work but it’s the internal approach to development that fosters learning agility that really does make all the difference. Steward leaders with high learning agility develop like a tree from the bottom up and lead from the inside-out. It starts with a deep sense of self-awareness – the roots – moving to the right mindsets, perspectives, and competencies – the trunk – to finally showing up with the right capabilities – the branches.
In summary, the right capabilities steward leaders should demonstrate are what we refer to as the A to J of leadership:
- Being present and conscious;
- Critical thinking;
- Design thinking;
- Flexibility and adaptability;
- Guts and resilience;
- Humble and authentic;
- Innovative; and
- Judgement that is sound.
Dr Gizelle Williams is a Coach, Digital Entrepreneur and Organisational Psychologist based in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain. She wrote her PhD thesis on “A Conceptual Framework to building Leadership Capability in the Digital Era”.