Healthy leadership is more vital today than ever because peoples’ relationship to work has changed, and so has the nature of work itself. Expansive research by Gallup clearly shows that today’s worker is more purpose-driven, development-oriented, and focused on strengths.
Purpose over paycheck. Your team members don’t just work for a paycheck—they want meaning. They want to work for organizations with a compelling purpose. Compensation is important and must be fair, but it’s rarely the sole driver of career choices. And Ping-Pong tables, cappuccino machines, free snacks, and such are not strong motivators, either. The emphasis for today’s team member has switched from paycheck to purpose, and so must your leadership approach.
Development over satisfaction. Today’s employees are not pursuing mere job satisfaction. They strive for development—both personal and professional, which are increasingly inseparable. They want self-growth and a position in an enterprise that is itself growing—so that they can contribute to it and be part of its story. As a result, they don’t want bosses. They want coaches. They want someone in their corner who values them as both a person and an employee—someone who helps them understand and cultivate their strengths.
Strengths over weaknesses. Today’s team members don’t want to focus on fixing their weaknesses; rather, they want your help in building their strengths. Weaknesses rarely, if ever, transform into strengths, while strengths can develop infinitely. Leaders should not ignore weaknesses but instead put employees in positions to maximize strengths. This benefits both the individual and the organization.
This new healthy leadership model benefits leaders at every level and everyone they work with. It matters in an up economy or a down economy, in a start-up or a mature business, a local company or a global enterprise. It matters when you are in the boardroom and when you are in the break room. Leadership matters . . . and healthy leadership inspires everyone to thrive.