Today the entire globe is working on the technology that is trending, and the environment in organizations is a dynamic one based on the change in the technological world. In most organizations, be they in the manufacturing sector, logistics based firms or educational institutes, most of the day to day operations in almost all the functional areas are carried out through technological support. Most areas are software-driven. This has boosted all businesses, saved time, brought transparency, brought about a structure in all processes and provided time and space for innovation and research. Does this mean that the conventional role of managers has ceased to exist? Not exactly. A manager has to manage the functional areas,
But in this highly structured and technologically guided environment, the relevance of a leader is debatable. Today all tasks are usually carried out by technology and duly fitted into the system, either software system or machine or process system. In this scenario, has the role of the leader faded away or has it become even more challenging, it is something to analytically think.
Leadership is a partnership, partnership with stakeholders, with subordinates, and with the team. As a consequence of technology orientation, individuals start loving their profession rather than their organization. Hence a leader faces the challenges of motivating, retaining and controlling them. The challenge of a leader is, thus, whether to be a task-oriented leader or a relationship-oriented leader. If the leader possesses charisma, will they be able to pull strong followership? Charismatic leadership in the current business environment where technology is the master may sound to be irrelevant. But the case is not so. The art of integrating the processes, technology and worth creation will demand charisma to be displayed by the leader.
At the time of technology change, which style is more relevant? Authoritative or democratic? Again, in this paced up, competitive, dynamic business environment, entrepreneurial leadership will be in demand. A leader will have to prove through his new ideas keeping the bottom line- increase in profit intact. Most importantly, CREATIVITY will count for organizational sustenance and growth.
What risk does a leader take in this structured, technology-driven business world? This is a clear case that risk has increased. Investment in technology expects more profit. On the other hand, technology fosters competition in the market, leading to the risk of diminished market share. In this irony, the role of the leader becomes crucial – the leader needs to be a visionary with strong cognitive command, and he should also possess high tenacity and high resilience. Hence leader and leadership are there to stay.
A real leader believes in a relationship, transparent management, trustworthiness and task orientation. They deserve to be powerful through high emotional intelligence, integrity and practising work ethics. He is a conflict minimizer and decision-maker.
But what is the degree of their power? Do they have any influence on the people, system or process? Yes, he does. Even the highest tech-savvy organizations have to prevent hacking, avoid internal and external politics and keep the workforce glued together.
Finally, leadership pays its part in maintaining a balance between the existing status quo, pulling the rope tight when change is accelerated, creating worth, and creating strong relations amongst stakeholders. Maintaining a happy workforce an enthusiastic & motivated team still remains a significant task for the leader. Flexibility to diversify and courage to change is still the forte of the leader.
The world will always look forward to a leader who can lead towards something better.