Perfection is not a strength
“Leadership is no longer about being 100% perfect, it’s about having a vision of the future that makes people want to follow you. It’s about having courage, resilience and showing compassion.”
We know leadership is changing. And while we don’t know exactly what tomorrow’s leaders will look like, we know from a human resource perspective that the definition is changing rapidly. In the past, much of the focus surrounding leadership has been on management techniques and reaching targets. Today being a leader is much more about getting people to understand and to share your vision, rather than slavishly following traditional management techniques.
Unlike leaders of the past whose main focus was to drive through change, today’s leaders needs to be more adaptable and flexible in how they respond to the challenges that come their way. They need to centre their energy on making sure that executives share their vision, so that the business can be driven ahead by all.
For a company such as Manpower, the evolution of leadership is an important human resource topic as it affects all of us, including many of our clients. But looking at it in new ways is important, which is why we invited a group of Manpower clients and employees to the TED conference in Aix en Provence. I think taking part in groundbreaking formats that explore what leadership can or should look like in the 21st century in a more sociable and stimulating environment to explore these issues.
The TED format of short, interesting topics and performances that keep the audience engaged fulfills this brief. It not only means we get to spend quality time with professionals who share the same curiosity, values and views, but it’s also a good environment to share experiences and learn from each other in a way that promotes different ways of thinking about training and leadership.
This is particularly so when it comes to the key qualities I believe we should now be looking for in tomorrow’s leaders. Firstly, the need to understand and accept that change will happen in order to look at the future in a more visionary way. Second, to show courage and not be threatened or afraid of the battles ahead. Thirdly, the need to show compassion and understanding of the problems of others. For example, being 100% perfect is no longer a leadership strength, but possessing a level of humility and a sociable nature is. Finally, resilience. Tomorrow’s leaders have to be able to take the knocks and get right back up again.
Franck Bodikian is the director of human resources at Manpower France. Franck is responsible for the management of human resources functions, social law and social affairs for the entire Group. He also contributes to the representation of ManpowerGroup with professional bodies. Manpower was a sponsor of the TEDx Aix event.