The corporate world is not so different from the world of Westeros; there can be battles in the boardroom just like the battles to take the Iron Throne – but hopefully, with less bloodshed. Whether you’re pro Lannister or Dothraki, backing the Iron Fleet or fighting for the North, or even team White Walkers, one thing each group has in common is the fact they are all united under one leader.
And each leader has their own distinct leadership style. Just as the characters of GOT divide and conquer, strategize or deliver empowering speeches to head their armies, so to do business leaders.
Daenerys leads with grace and fairness – and a certain fierceness that just naturally comes with having dragons at your command. Like a true democratic leader, she is equitable in considering advice and opinions as she communicates all the way through the chain of command but still holds final decision-making responsibility.
Mastercard president and CEO Ajay Banga could be considered an everyday democratic leader. Banga is known for being able to break down traditional barriers between executives and middle management, promoting inclusivity. Under Banga’s leadership, Mastercard ranked fourth on DiversityInc’s 2018 list of the top 50 most diverse companies and has committed to closing the gender pay gap.
Autocratic leadership is based on the idea that there is one boss, and that boss generally embodies the ‘my way or the highway’ mantra. Cersei is Queen and she doesn’t care what others think of her and stands by her choices. Autocratic leaders often make decisions on their own, communicate those decisions to subordinates and expect prompt execution – with little to no flexibility.
In his time heading the Trump Organization, Donald Trump has been labelled an autocratic leader.…Read More
But what about for businesses? In an effort to retain talent, attract candidates and stand out in today’s tight labor market, more organizations than ever are allowing members of their teams to work from home some or all of the time. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the pattern will continue, with 73% of all teams having remote workers by 2028.
What’s less clear is the impact of these arrangements on organizations’ bottom lines. Do remote environments impact worker productivity? Is it possible to nurture both flexibility and increased engagement within your organization?
The short answer: yes. Remote workers regularly meet and exceed objectives, identify new processes, and contribute to company culture just as much as anyone in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. In fact, they tend to accomplish more. According to a two-year study by Stanford University, remote workers are, on average…
13.5% more productive than their office-based counterparts,
9% more engaged in their jobs, and
50% less likely to quit
This may seem counterintuitive, but the stereotypical image of a virtual worker – someone sitting around in their pajamas, prone to distractions, and in desperate need of a shower – has little basis in reality. Instead, imagine a diverse community of empowered, autonomous, and entrepreneurially-minded professionals.
Consider a few reasons why remote, at-home working arrangements increase team engagement – and, by extension, organizational productivity:
Common human resources wisdom states that engagement starts with recruitment. To maximize job satisfaction (and therefore, job performance) you need to hire the most qualified, relevant candidates. Unfortunately, businesses are frequently limited by their local talent pools.
Call center positions, for example, are typically entry-level jobs with high rates of turnover. It’s not that employers don’t care, …Read More
They have generally shown earnest efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, improve equality in the workplace, and extend the sustainability of their resources.
That’s no longer enough though. In a world of ever-widening social, economic, and environmental gaps, corporations must step up and take on much bigger roles to make a more meaningful impact on society. Whether it’s tackling poverty, hunger, discrimination, education, healthcare, climate change, or sustainability, corporations can and should do exponentially more to improve these global conditions while still maintaining their competitiveness. Our future depends on it.
A perfect storm for more dramatic change is brewing. In a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey, 73% of respondents stated that they expected a company they worked for to “take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates.”
From research and personal experience, I know that employees, customers, and partners all want to work for and with organizations that share altruistic values to do more social good. And millennials, in particular, an increasingly larger percentage of the workforce, want to work for organizations that make a positive difference in their communities.
Unfortunately, while employees, activist investors and increasingly customers are driving large corporations in this direction, it is still hard to find Fortune 1000 companies (Dannon is a notable exception) among the 2,500 B-Corporations that balance purpose and profit. Moreover, we still see very few CEOs even mention social issues in their regular communications, and even fewer are integrating societal goals into their primary corporate strategies.
It’s clear the time for a dramatic change is now. But how? I think the answer is to begin incorporating quantitative business metrics into CSR programs, whether it’s key performance indicators (KPIs), executive incentives, or positive outcomes from technology and innovation programs. …Read More
While more time at home and more productive hours when clocked in sounds great to employers and employees, I can tell you firsthand as the CEO of a highly successful company that has won awards for its workplace environment that a four-day workweek is not required to motivate employees. In fact, employee motivation has nothing to do with how many days a person works in a week.
I grant my employees the same autonomy that I have as a CEO, to come and go as needed, and because of that, I hold them to a higher standard. Through my work and leadership experience, I discovered that when I empower my employees to be the CEO of their own responsibilities, they are far more motivated, and we see incredible results. Such a position obviously comes with more freedom than the typical title, but it also raises the bar of expectations.
To achieve trust and mutual respect, employees are expected to make their own schedules. It is my belief that if I do not have to account for all of my hours worked or dentist appointments kept, then neither do my employees. This attitude actualizes the expectation for each worker to be CEO of his or her own responsibilities. But not every individual who submits an application wants to meet this standard. I look for certain traits in employees and am committed to developing those leadership qualities, if present.
To succeed as CEOs of their own responsibilities, employees must be determined self-starters. The strength of their work ethic lies in how they go above and beyond to accomplish the initial goals laid out for them without a higher up peering over their shoulder at every turn. As CEO, I do …Read More
Having worked with hundreds of organizations and thousands of talented women for over 25 years, I have found that in order for women to realize their career goals and to become active contributors to corporate success, they need three distinct types of mentors.
Operational mentors provide advice and counsel on the right way to get the job done and the obstacles to avoid while getting it done. These mentors are women or men who can help with the day-to-day problems that arise as a woman strives to excel in her responsibilities. They are especially valuable as she moves into different positions and may feel uncertain about the best ways to handle her new job.
In selecting operational mentors, women should look for someone who has succeeded at the particular job function and who is currently tuned in to both best practices for that job and to industry-wide trends. Operational mentors can come from within the organization or from other companies.
Strategic mentors help a woman gain greater insight into what the business is all about and which of her talents and skills best dovetail with corporate needs. The primary role of strategic mentors is to help women learn to connect with influential leaders within the organization. These mentors work with a woman to develop strategies that make her more visible to the right people at the right time so that corporate leaders see her as a needed asset to growth and profitability. In other words, strategic mentors help women understand how to get noticed by those who matter.
In seeking out strategic mentors, women should look to those who understand both the obvious and subtle workings of the organization. They should ensure that the mentor is someone they respect and trust; and that he …Read More