[May 02, 2014] Leader traits are changing in the United States and not in the way people may think. Leadership changes have always been a reflection of the social environment and that will remain fundamentally true. Yet, American values and standards of conduct are changing and leaders are rushing to adapt. Leadership adaptation has been developing in the area of social interaction skills.
Americans continue to see a trend of increasing power of the worker in the workplace. Consequently, we see a decline in relative social power of the leader; an issue we all should pay attention. Less power in the workplace will be compensated by some other helpful trait, in this case, social skills. Improved social skills in motivation, communication, passion development, and inclusiveness can overcome the loss of leader power.
American society has always had a narrow gap between those in positions of authority and everyone else. Some people call this the authority-power gap. When compared to other countries, Americans stand out in this particularly unusual position and as such, it uniquely impacts on leadership style.
At the political level, we see much discussion on the “gender pay gap,” or the “1% vs. 99%,” “rich vs. poor,” etc. This translates into political speeches about “fairness.” Who can argue with fairness?
Due to these factors, leaders at the most senior levels are compensating by being less directive (they have less power) in their leaders style and more socially influential. This is more difficult and less efficient, but certainly more effective in their eyes.
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