6 characteristics of old-school leaders

6 characteristics of old-school leaders

by Lee Stephenson, executive director of Converge Church Planting

"Whatever you are, be a good one." —Abraham Lincoln

I love that quote from Abraham Lincoln. Consider for a moment what that means when it comes to leadership –the best leaders over a long period of time are leaders who learn to adapt, change and grow as a person and leader.

Leadership principles and practices have to change over time simply because organizations and people change.

Leaders who get caught in an "old-school" way of doing things find themselves losing influence and causing more tension than necessary. This happens in both the corporate sector and in churches.

Below are six characteristics or mentalities of old-school leaders.

1. Loves Boxes

Boxes are uncomfortable and meant to keep things in. People don't want to get put into a box and therefore, they won't. People want opportunities to grow and to mature as a person and as a leader. There was once a day when you could pay a decent wage and through policies and rules, control an employee’s actions. Things are different now, and that mentality isn't an effective way to lead the next generation.

2. Yield Sign

Young leaders today want an opportunity to explore, take risks, move quickly and make a difference in the world - the sooner that can happen the better. Successful leaders learn to tap into and ride this energy. Slowing young leaders down or keeping them distant from what's really going on just won't work.

3. Traffic Controller

Information is all around us today, and as a result information has become king. Just think about what you can find in a matter of moments from your phone. Today's up-and-coming leaders demand transparent and current information. This includes what is stirring in the leader's mind and, most important where the organization is going.

4. Money Is King

This is the idea that merely a paycheck is enough motivation. Given enough money, that might ring true for some leaders (let's be honest). But today’s young leaders and young workforce demand to know they are doing good work. They want to know what they are doing is leaving a mark and adds value to the team.

5. Work Is Work

Old-school leaders make the work environment strictly about business. The problem is the younger generation wants to mix worlds, business with pleasure. Just take a look at places like Google and how they build buildings or create work space. Young leaders want to give themselves to a place they believe in and, at the same time, have fun working at. (Think a cereal bar or ping pong tables.)

6. Slow Adapters

Specifically in the realm of technology. Today's generation of young leaders is the most technologically savvy generation to date. They love to have creative freedom to use technology to produce efficiency at the highest level. "Because that's the way we have always done it" won't work and can actually do more damage when working with young leaders.

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    Point - September 2018

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