7 Traits of the Modern Leader


Our world is going through constant change and this is no less visible in the evolution of modern leaders.  Successful modern leaders have a markedly different approach when compared to traditional leadership theories, which is why I wanted to stop and re-state those qualities which distinguish a modern leader and how leadership has changed in the past 2 decades.

Leadership Traits

Modern Leaders generate an authentic sense of trust

Modern leaders bring with them a vision and agenda – and they stick to it. They are focused on making decisions for the right reasons and they are not afraid to stand up and be accountable for those decisions. In fact, modern leaders have a vision that does make a place for risks, something that many traditional leaders are not often open to.

Modern Leaders are open to new technologies

Being a modern leader does require a unique approach to everything that’s new. But from a technology perspective, their success will be determined by the ability to ask the right questions. 10 years ago we asked, “what is the best enterprise email system for our organization?” Today we need to augment that question by asking “what is the best enterprise email system for our organization that our employee base will embrace and use?” That fundamental difference in approach will determine success or failure.

Modern Leaders know how to empower employees

Great leaders deliver a sense of empowerment and a modern leader knows that. They strive above all else to offer employees a sense of unity, safety, and appreciation, all while ensuring organizational values are maintained and ensure a customer-centric approach is the focus.

Modern Leaders are open to change

Make no mistake, the move to empower our younger generations, and to transform ourselves into digital organizations is at its very core change, and if fully embraced, change of monumental impact. When fully applied it will touch everything. It will impact our workforce. It will impact every one of our systems, every one of our processes, and every one of our teams.

For this change to be successful senior leadership will be called upon to model in their interactions with staff and other leaders, the outcomes they desire from making this change. More specifically they’ll be asked to listen more, and rejecting ideas less offhandedly that may have been the case in the past.

Modern Leaders always keep learning

Knowledge is power, and by continuous learning, you always stay in front of your competition. Not only does that help a leader evolve, but he will always be equipped to mentor, innovate and lead.

Modern Leaders lead by example

Being a leader does require you to set an example, every modern leader knows that. His actions inspire others and that’s why each step needs to be thought out clearly beforehand in order to reach the bring value and results.

Modern Leaders are self-aware

Most people underestimate themselves. A modern leader will always know how important it is to be self-aware, show value and never undervalue themselves. This does bring a sense of empowerment to their employees because they will be able to do the same. Such a thing leads to productivity, growth, and emulation of inspiring leaders.

Male Rock ClimberWhile the old-school leadership can still be encountered in many companies all over the world, as we arrive with our millennial generation making up the majority of our workforce, modern leadership is slowly replacing it and for good reason.

Determine what kind of leader you are – your success moving forward depends on it!

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After 20 years of progressive leadership within the Canadian Public Service, as an executive and thought leader, Bruce has turned his attention to full time writing, speaking, training and business advisory services. Focusing his work on his long term passion for leadership development, has led to an ongoing focus on exploring current leadership topics through his leadership blog TheModernLeader.ca, and his newly released book - Leadership Hack: Leading the Millennial Tribe. Bruce holds two masters degrees, along with a professional designation in project management. Bruce calls Ottawa, Ontario Canada home, where he shares his life with his wife Susan, and his two university aged daughters.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. Being self-aware and open to change is something I noticed a lot of people lack these days. Specially with the younger crowd. They seem to know it all while knowing nothing at all. They can be amazing leaders but they allow the fear of change and not actually addressing themselves get in the way. I really enjoyed this read. I am part of a team and leadership means everything.

  2. I have been a business man my whole life. I learned a lot of what I know from my father, and he from my grandfather. With the book of technology, I know a lot has changed. Being a modern leader is more important than anything. You can be a closed off Conservative in your business. The world has become a colorful place and it has to be embraced. Everyone is capable of something when the right leader leads them.

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