5 Keys to Contemporary Leadership

Updating our leadership styles as quickly as the workplace is changing, is the challenge of most organisations and leaders today. Contemporary leadership is worlds apart to the traditional leadership models of old and modern leaders make their own rules. With workplaces, organisations and whole industries evolving at rapid speeds, leaders are at the cold face of that evolution to ensure they keep up with the modern approach to organisational and leadership success.

Here are our 5 keys to contemporary leadership:

Empowered team members makes for highly-productive teams

An engaged team member is someone who will go above and beyond to achieve their set work objectives, empowering people to do what they were hired  to do and allowing them the room to experiment, stretch themselves and contribute makes for highly-productive teams. While the traditional office structure still exists, fewer employees want to be ‘Yes’ wo/men. Autonomy at all levels is very much part and parcel of modern employment and the growing attitude for employees needing to be more self-sufficient. Employees want quality guidance and development. Empowered employees hold themselves accountable, take pride in their work and see their input as contributing to the larger whole. An empowered employee, is more productive and effective.


Traditional office structures are almost a thing of the past, the lines of cubicles and drab  grey office buildings seem Dickensian to us now. Employees want more flexible options in their hours, their pay and especially where they work. While this may not fit your company exactly, it may be worth experimenting with more flexible options in order to keep your current employees happy, as well as attract younger candidates entering the workforce.


Younger employees are used to two things: being involved and having ready access to information. By making more information easier for them to obtain it helps keep them feeling valued, empowered and involved. Try assigning one of them to create a monthly email newsletter, brief daily department meetings before the day begins, and frequent brief one-on-ones to keep them up to date on the goings-on of the office.

Leaders based on their fit and ability, not age

Technology is pushing younger and younger leaders to the fore and showing that leadership isn’t so much about age and experience, but about fit, personality profiles, industry and innovation. Few companies are taking steps to integrate younger leaders into their teams, while there are trends in the startup scene to integrate ‘grey hairs’ into young companies to balance out the energy, creativity and innovation with experience. New blood usually brings with it new ideas that work better than the old way of doing things and ultimately, a mix of the right people, whatever the ages is more powerful than anything.

Letting Go of Control

This is a difficult one for many of us. The corporate environment is evolving faster than ever. Employees are taking on more responsibilities, have longer leashes, and often aren’t even working in the office. Furthermore, more and more companies are turning to freelancers and other independent contractors to pick up the slack, meaning leaders have team-members with a very different overall team dynamic. Delegating more, trusting you have the right people in the right roles is key to letting go of control and truly leading as opposed to managing.   SEVEN’s Executive Coaches have successfully worked with leaders in the creative industries, finance, banking, technology, media as well as the public sectors, to update their leadership styles and ensure they are truly effective for modern business. To learn more about leadership coaching, visit our Executive Coaching Page.