Turning potential into performance: The missing link in (IS) leadership? / Marius Stander
Stander, Marius W.
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Globally, the business environment and business leadership is increasingly becoming more volatile, uncertain and complex. Leaders need to reconsider the way they think about and manage their businesses. During the 4th industrial revolution one can assume that the rate of change will increase drastically over the next few years. The question then arises if businesses are ready for these changes? For organisations to remain sustainable and develop, it is of vital importance that employees who are able to effectively handle changes and challenges are attracted and retained. One such change is a continuous shift in skills needed. The availability of key skills can be a major threat for companies, particularly in developing countries. Some of the expected skills needed for the future include complex problem solving, active learning and innovation. We therefor need to ask ourselves if current systems are able to support the development of these skills. I am of the opinion that we are not geared for the development of such skills and that the inability to adapt swiftly within current formal systems will be present. Within this challenging environment, the leader‟s role in developing individuals will become increasingly important. Leaders need to create working environments where individuals can optimise their potential and add value for the organisation whilst improving their own well-being. Research has found that amidst difficult times - positivity is of utmost importance for leaders. Leadership styles such as empowering leadership, positive leadership, and authentic leadership are gaining increasing field in literature and practise. These styles, as well as psychological empowerment are discussed from a theoretical basis and thereafter aligned with practical challenges. In conclusion: It is important to have leaders which attract and develop talent, allow people the opportunity to explore their own ideas, set stretching challenges, engage in robust debate, create ownership with direct reports and invest in their potential by means of focused development.