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How is leadership in start-ups evolving with new trends

The role of leadership is evolving into a broad-based team building approach that encourages creative thought in the workplace.

Raj Kumar | New Delhi |

Time is changing and so is the modern workplace. The work patterns and the leadership style are slowly evolving in order to cope with the challenging economic environment. Whether it’s a growing start-up or an established brand, organizations across the globe are embracing changes and advancements to upgrade their work experience, increase productivity, engage workers and encourage growth.

Being a leader is about so much more than overseeing people. It’s a whole new level of responsibility that not everyone is cut out for. When we talk about start-ups, leadership is not an easy go to task. It’s not easy to manage a team and ensure everyone is happy, but there are ways that a leader should know that would lead the company to grow. The role of leadership is evolving into a broad-based team building approach that encourages creative thought in the workplace.

Traditional leadership VS Modern leadership

In traditional leadership, the word leadership is mostly used to depict higher management, basically ‘bosses’. It is also known as command leadership and control leadership. Organizations were set up as pyramids in which power was distributed linearly from a small, select number of people at the top who controlled most of the people positioned at the bottom. This top-down style of leadership was inherently hierarchical but now the team building, and power sharing are replacing the traditional forms of corporate hierarchy.

Excogitation of start-ups

Start-ups have seized the idea of hierarchy. It seems even the smallest companies are finding room in their budget and hearts to give back to the world by including their employees in the process. Whether it’s offering a portion of proceeds to charities and art programs or sending company ambassadors to build homes and schools for the underpriviledged, there’s seemingly no end to the need in this world, and no end to the ways to answer it. Start-ups are showing the way here, too.

Culmination of Hierarchy Leadership culture

Small organizations and start-ups today have totally changed the scenario of leadership. They believe that those in leadership roles handle multiple responsibilities. Leaders should be able to work on fundamentals easily and should avoid delegating work. Leadership is all about striking a balance between being friendly with employees and being able to take hard decisions when required.

The business world thinks of traditional leadership consisting of managers and subordinates, but contemporary structures blur the lines between leadership and following-although leadership is more of a skill than a technical role. Employers can strive to make the passing information more transparent and involve employees more in the presentation and decision-making processes. In today’s more volatile, uncertain and ambiguous business battlefield, decentralized controls and leadership through networks of people at all levels is imperative for success.

Small companies give room for communication

Start-ups and small companies tend to have an environment where everyone can freely communicate with anyone they wish. Within a small team one can physically just reach over and communicate with anyone. Much like how everyone in a small town “knows everyone.”Whereas in big firm freedom of being able to communicate with whoever you wish is generally not there.These companies often have multiple large offices. It’s not so easy to just reach over and speak to that certain person – they might be in another office! Or on a different floor!In such companies, there’s a clear chain of command and hierarchy.

How millennials are transforming leadership?

Millennials are the present population of the workforce and in the leadership roles too. Millennial leaders demonstrate little interest in the idea of an imposing, infallible CEO. They instead value traits of humility, openness and continual learning, promoting the importance of recognizing both your strengths and your weaknesses.Number of young nimble start-ups are populated by millennials who have an inclusive mindset that favours teamwork over competition. While corporate offices are still highly competitive, among younger employees, cutthroat competition is gradually being replaced by a more collaborative atmosphere.

As more companies adopt a culture of open innovation a new style of leadership is emerging. Change can be difficult, but putting some collaborative techniques in place, is a smart business decision that pays dividends for the long hall. Thus, embracing the new leadership paradigm requires transparency, accountability, empathy, vision setting and patience on all sides.

(Raj Kumar, CEO, Deshwal Waste Management Pvt Ltd.)