10 Effective Leadership Behaviors for This Decade

10 Effective Leadership Behaviors for This Decade
March 5, 2024 admin

The world of leadership has radically changed over the last decade, with global shifts and the pandemic accelerating the change even further.

In previous decades, leaders have often taken a “command and control” style of leadership. Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s saw role models in movies like “Wall Street”, “Working Girl” or “The Secret of My Success”. Although the caricatures played in these movies showed corporate leaders as unfeeling and cut-throat, it was not that far from the truth of how leaders were taught to put profits before people and manage through fear during that time.

Fast forward to today.

These transactional styles of leadership are no longer effective at getting discretionary effort from team members much less getting them to stay on your team.

We know that people leave because of bad managers. In a PI survey, 63% of those with bad managers said they are thinking of leaving their company within the next 12 months. Combined with previous data from Gallup that managers make up 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores, managers as a root cause of most attrition is pretty strong. It is the impact, or lack of impact, from the direct managers that makes a difference. To keep A-Team Players, we must shift our style to one that works for this decade.

So what can we do about it?

As leaders, we can ask ourselves whether we are a model of the conscious and deliberate 21st century leader needed to motivate and keep people or do we fall into the “old guard” mentality? Do we bring our best selves to the leadership party or hide behind corporate politics and 20th century styles.

Mediocrity in leadership is the new team killer. With the talent shortage, even average players have other options, not just our super stars. The gap between being a great leader and an OK or bad leader is making a bigger impact on company success every day.


Our position on the “Leadership Spectrum” below (see graphic) is decided by every choice we make daily in how we do or do not show up for our people and for ourselves.

As you consider your leadership journey, where are you landing on this spectrum? Where do you spend most of your time versus areas where you occasionally visit? Many of us who have been leaders for more than a few years grew up in the 20th century style. Transactional leadership was born during the Industrial Revolution where people were seen as an “asset” just like a machine. We have an employee contract, we come to work, get rewards or punishments based on the system and leave. That style of leadership is no longer appropriate for today’s work environment, even for jobs that are routine in nature. Today’s workforce wants and needs a more relational approach.

For many of us, it means having to unlearn some habits that are no longer conducive to growing both people and results. Take a look at the list above and think about which side you fall into more often than not.

It’s never too late to change who we are both as humans and as leaders. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is today. Start now and plant the seeds for the leader you want to be. Your teams will thank you for it!

Want help reimagining leadership for yourself or your organization? Reach out!