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IT Leadership Manual: Roadmap to Becoming a Trusted Business Partner by Alan R. Guibord

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CHAPTER 5

Soft Stuff Is What Really Matters

The advent of the Internet and the steady change in technology and human behaviors because of it have profoundly affected the way we live our lives, the way we interact with others, and the way we conduct ourselves in the workplace. The ideas of personalization and instant gratification, too, have migrated to the workforce. Together, these changes have profoundly affected how we lead people in our organizations. The management practices of the past no longer apply to today's world. Society has changed and people today expect a more personal touch and a collaborative approach to leadership. There is a soft side to being a leader in today's environment. Just as electronics, medicine, and many other fields have changed profoundly in the last decade, technological advances have introduced profound changes to the meaning of leadership. The differences in the values of different generations of employees are more exaggerated today than at any time I can remember. My generation comes from a more structured and hierarchical world. Organizational structures were like pyramids. Today's organizations are much flatter with larger spans of control and more individual autonomy. What works for the older generation will no longer work for the younger. They expect to be treated as individuals and to have the opportunity to work in a less structured environment. It is important to recognize and embrace these different expectations to be an effective leader ...

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