A note from us: We are proud to share the write-up below by Evanta, a Gartner Company, from a discussion moderated by our own Susan Eick, CEO, for the Vancouver CHRO Leadership Summit on June 14, 2018.
Key Takeaways + Discussion Points
Chief human resources officers came together June 14 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown for the Vancouver CHRO Leadership Summit to discuss the most important issues they are facing today. Below are highlights from the boardroom, sponsored by The Refinery Leadership Partners, on how vulnerability and authentic leadership can transform your organization.
The Changing Nature of Leadership
There has been a shift from the “hero leader” to something more authentic, which people need. Leadership teams are more diverse now. Social media has created a need for authenticity, because if you don’t share something, someone else will. We need to gather more feedback from those who are lower in the organization — they want to know you more on a personal level. There is a shift away from a leader as a content specialist to the whole leader and how they work with people.
No More Top-Down
Hierarchy is not as important for the next generations, and this is something leaders struggle with, because they feel like they are at the top and alone. We need to coach senior leaders, because this type of leadership results in more engagement and involvement from employees.
Employees want to be engaged in the organization and in decision-making. Today we have more micro and macro leaders and role models who show us what we want and don’t want in a senior leader, and there is more acceptance in challenging what leadership means. There is an increased understanding of your team’s entire lives, and less separation between work and life.
A Buyer’s Market
Today, employees choose you rather than you choosing them. Many employees find purpose more important, so what does that mean as a leader to play a role in that? It is important to know and connect with your staff as a proven indicator (social media is one avenue).
Define ‘Strong Leader’
Thirty years ago, a leader was “powerful, driven, decisive and feared.” Today, results are still important, but not at all costs. If the CEO is able to connect with people at all levels and looks like the people, it can make HR’s job so much easier, as this environment creates a sense of hope and the culture drives the way the organization works.
Safe to Be Authentic
You can’t challenge the board and CEO to be authentic unless you are willing to be authentic every day. Senior leaders need people around them who understand who their authentic self really is. HR needs to coach them on how to define their authentic self.
How can you determine if your leaders will lead with authenticity rather than just by the company’s cultural values? Some use a predictive index, some use information checks, 360-degree feedback or informal interview processes. Checking out their social media is another way to gain insights.
Authenticity as a Business Objective
Authentic leadership is a transition most organizations are making, but some leaders have a hard time connecting to this language and why it’s important for the organization. It is increasingly critical for employers to understand employees’ values and ensure the workplace and leadership reflects them. HR plays a role in starting the conversation and holding people accountable, but over time, this responsibility should become a business responsibility, not just an HR objective.