What are the 2020s leadership styles and why do they matter 

The year was 1996. I had just recovered from a major workplace accident that could have claimed my life. The day that I got out of the burn’s unit (about 5 weeks after the accident), I interviewed for my first trade role – a job on a remote mine site in Western Australia. In the thriving metropolis of Pannawonica. A great little town, btw, and one that Mrs G and I have got fond memories of. 

Whilst I was in the burn’s unit, I decided that I could not really work as an Electrician anymore. I was scared to. I was worried that I would get hurt again. Weird, but real (in my head anyway). I don’t think I was a big loss to the trade ranks (I was never going to be apprentice or tradesperson of the year ????). 

That being said, it was at the ripe old age of 21, and I had to find something else to do. So, what would that be? 

I wasn’t sure. I just knew it wasn’t working with electricity. 

After some thought, I worked out that I liked hoomanz (they didn’t like me much at the time – I was an angry young man – especially after the incident… I was very down on the world). But I wanted to learn about hoomanz. So, I signed up to do a HR degree, to get educated about the hooman race. And how to engage with members of that race. 

The degree was great. I learnt a lot. It was probably more about processes than people (PDs and the like), but a great learning journey. And of course, one of the things that was a big part of that degree was leadership, and leaderships styles. Which I was fascinated by. I can remember reading about visionary leaders, or autocratic leaders, or laisse faire leaders, or democratic leaders. The list went on. It was great theory… and I wondered what type of leadership style I would adopt.  

Fast forward 20 years, and I have since done a psych degree, to really understand the hooman race (and myself, I think ????), and am now embarking on what will become a PhD level research (hopefully – it is a Master of Research right now) into leadership styles, and how leaders can better lead under pressure. I love it, and can’t wait add some knowledge to the world, from some great research (hopefully that is useful to leaders everywhere).  

The thing is that leadership styles (or the ones that I am studying at least) are so different to what the old textbooks said. Here are the styles that I am studying. And I feel like these styles are more 2020 than the old styles (you might disagree). 

1. Conscious Leadership 

In a rapidly changing world, conscious leaders bring heightened awareness and mindfulness to their leadership practices. They are deeply attuned to the needs and aspirations of their team members, as well as the broader impact of their decisions on society and the environment.  

Conscious leaders cultivate a sense of purpose beyond profit, align the organisation’s goals with societal values, and promote sustainable practices. By prioritising the well-being and growth of individuals and the collective, conscious leaders foster a culture of purpose-driven success. 

2. Authentic Leadership 

The foundation of leadership begins with authenticity. Authentic leaders inspire trust by being genuine and true to themselves, their values, and their purpose. They foster open and honest communication, treating others with respect and empathy.  

By embracing vulnerability, and their strengths and weaknesses, authentic leaders create a culture of trust and transparency, empowering their team members to do their best work. 

3. Transformational Leadership 

And yes, this is one from 1978, though it is a big one for me, and I feel like (as much as some people think it is old concept) it is still alive and well, and an important leadership style. 

When leaders embrace a transformational approach, they inspire and motivate their teams to reach extraordinary heights. Transformational leaders challenge the status quo, encourage innovation and embrace change.  

They create a compelling vision, igniting passion and enthusiasm among their followers.  

Through mentorship and empowerment, they enable individuals to unleash their full potential, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth. By setting high standards and modelling exemplary behaviour, transformational leaders create a positive ripple effect, propelling the entire organization forward. 

Back to the story! 

In today’s pressure packed and interconnected world, these leadership styles offer a powerful framework for success. By combining consciousness, authenticity and a transformational style, leaders can navigate complexity, build resilient teams, and drive sustainable growth. Moreover, these styles emphasize the importance of fostering collaboration, inclusivity, and ethical decision-making. 

As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead, let us embrace these leadership styles and evolve together. Let us lead with authenticity, consciousness, and transformation; fostering cultures of trust, purpose, and innovation. 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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