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Home » Articles » What is modern leadership?

What is modern leadership?

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In an age where workplace burnout is rampant, good talent is hard to come by, and people are resorting to quiet quitting, a modern leader is now more in need than ever.

These people can help guide employees toward a positive direction and inspire them to strive for growth and development.

Let’s break down modern leadership and how it can transform employees and new, up-and-coming businesses.

What does modern leadership mean?

Modern leadership inspires employees by instilling values like collaboration, purpose, and support. They provide direction and innovation and help foster an environment of leadership and empowerment.

Modern leaders act as mentors and coaches who focus less on micromanagement and more on their employees’ well-being. They encourage employees by motivating them to aim for success while also looking out for them as human beings.

Furthermore, modern leaders do not just want what’s best for the company but the people who work for them.

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After all, the employees are the driving force behind every company, and they need a good leader they can trust to lead them by example.

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Modern leadership vs. Traditional leadership

Both modern and traditional leadership involve one person or a group of people leading the charge towards a common company goal.

However, traditional leadership is often likened to authoritarian leadership, involving barking orders and establishing power over others. This toxic mindset only contributes to employees feeling inferior, scared, or burnt out.

Times have changed since then, and so has the idea of what it means to be a good leader.

Modern leaders give guidance and constructive criticism instead of exercising their authority just because they are in charge. They offer advice to those who fall short instead of punishing them.

Principles of modern leadership

Anyone can exhibit modern leadership qualities, even someone who is not in a typical leadership position. Here are common principles found in modern leadership.

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Trust in employees

A good modern leader leaves the work to their team and allows them to exercise their autonomy instead of breathing down their necks all the time.

This gives employees a chance to make their own decisions and gain confidence in their own ideas.

Constructive feedback

While it is inevitable that employees will make mistakes, it is the job of a modern leader to offer constructive feedback and areas of improvement. 

As mentioned earlier, the modern leader cares about their employees, and part of that is making sure they do not repeat the same mistakes and instead learn from them.


Empowering employees is a big responsibility that modern leaders carry, especially towards new employees.

An increase in empowered employees leads to an increase in company results, engagement, and employee retention and satisfaction.

Empowered employees are good not only for business but also for personal strength and development, which can be applied inside and outside the organization.

Modern leaders are in charge of shaping employees to be the best they can be and mentoring them towards that path.

Prioritizing wellbeing

Ever since the pandemic, workplace burnout has worsened by 67%. Nowadays, modern leadership has emphasized maintaining physical and mental health.

One of a modern leader’s responsibilities is ensuring that an employee’s work does not compromise their health. After all, an unhealthy employee is not good for anyone.

Modern leadership best practices

Modern leadership involves a proactive and people-centered approach in order to be effective. Here are some best practices to take note of. 

Get to know your employees

Getting to know your team on a personal level is the first step. Modern leaders see their employees as people first and employees second, so taking the time to know them goes a long way.

Take the time to learn their concerns, values, backgrounds, and anything about them. This allows your relationship with them to go beyond work and be more personal.

Practice empathy

A good modern leader is able to put themselves in the shoes of their employees and listen to things from their perspective.

Instead of dismissing a concern or telling employees to brush it off, modern leaders practice active listening and empathy. This is how they establish a good relationship with their team.


It is not ideal for a modern leader to sugarcoat things. One element of modern leadership is telling your team how it is professionally and constructively. 

Modern leaders treat their team with openness and honesty, as it is essential in helping the team improve and opens the door for communication and collaboration.

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Modern leadership best practices

Shifting to modern leadership

In most organizations nowadays, modern leadership is not a new concept. It is because of modern leaders that employees are happier and are more motivated to do their jobs.

If you feel like your company needs a change in leadership, consider adopting this mindset of a modern leader, as it can make a huge difference in the lives of your employees and your company as a whole.

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Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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