Boomer Think Tank: A Definition of Leadership Today

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On our Think Tanks this month we are tackling what is the definition of leadership today. We are looking at the topic from each generation’s viewpoint in order to measure how much progress has been made, and what challenges still exist.

This month, our panel included:

Rick Rice – Corporate communications and crisis management consultant
Joseph Grier – Founder of LearnGrow LLC
David Svet – Marketing Director for Mosaic Non-Profit Fundraising
Sherree Worrell – Founder and Manager of Tala Consulting

Definition of leadership:

It’s putting people first. ~ Rick Rice

Our panel was quick to establish that true leadership means putting your people first. Joseph mentioned how a leader has a particular collection of personality traits and skills that make other inspired. Moreover, they create an environment that allows their employees to get the most of their experience.

What does a good leader look like?

Our panelists began to describe a people-centric leader.

They must:

  • Lead from the front
  • Lead from example
  • Show people what you want them to do
  • Help them understand how they can more closely emulate the goals that you have in mind
  • Nurture and build confidence
  • Provide the best services possible to the people you work with and your customers
  • Create a team
  • Provide them the necessary tools
  • Get in the trenches with them during crisis


Dictatorship is not Leadership

Just as our panel was quick to make a list of character traits of a leader, they also were quite vocal over what does not make a leader.

What a good leader does not do:

  • Micro manage
  • Keep secrets
  • Remain one-sided
  • Say things but does not act
  • Ignores relationships

These were the team killers. And, as Sherree so eloquently put it,

Without a team, there’s no reason for a leader. ~Sherree Worrell


How to Build a Team

Well, if there’s no reason for a leader without a team, how do you build a team? Our panelists all believe it means creating a people-centric work culture.

This means:

  • Everyone has a voice
  • Being transparent
  • Being honest
  • Having an attitude was that workers are not minions but they work together as a team
  • Being an active participants of the team
  • Active listening


Corporate versus people

When describing these key differences between a self-centered and a people-centric team, examples of corporate culture came up frequently. For our participants, corporate work cultures treat employees as cogs instead of people.

Workers are expendable instead of investable.

There is a focus on micromanagement instead of collaboration. And when problems arise, they involve self-centric problem analysis instead of relationship-centric analysis.

Ideal Work Environment that Fosters Leadership

We asked our panellists to describe the ideal work environment that fosters leadership– essentially what do we need in this ideal blueprint to create a people-centric workplace.

The key elements:

  • Transparency
  • Ability to talk together and speak frankly
  • The leader is more of a facilitator than a director
  • Develop people as a priority
  • Encourages learning and growing
  • Empower your employees
  • Create trust so that your employees feel able to be open with you

You can listen to the podcast here:

You also can view the hangout in its entirety here. Read on for a recap:

About our think tanks:

At ArCompany we analyze data gathered from social media, websites, forums and search. This research helps inform and guide the communication efforts of many brands. If you want to learn more about implementing meaningful insights, we’re here to help.

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