Do: Coach and inspire. Don’t: Command and control.

Some bosses feel the need to watch over our shoulder and insist that we do everything the way they’ve always done it. They control information and dole it out on an “as needed” basis. Unfortunately, instead of teaching us to think, they’re simply teaching us to follow instructions.

Coach

This might have worked in the age of manufacturing, but today’s digitized workplace is more like rock climbing.  Modern business coaches not only inspire people to dig deep and find the toe-holds that will get them to the top, but also help individuals learn to work with their own strengths and weaknesses.  And they provide a safe atmosphere in which to reach farther, take risks and get stronger.

I try to remind the new leaders at our company that “you get paid for what you know, not what you do.” It’s a hard transition for some of us, especially when we got where we are by delivering excellent work. To be sure, it’s a different way of leading and may feel uncomfortable at first. But the best thing today’s leaders can do is coach the next generation to face challenges not comprehended by the old work ethic.

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