Less Autocratic Leadership—With New Challenges

Less Autocratic Leadership—With New Challenges

The shift in corporate America is a good, but complicated, thing. That means sharing ideas about leadership has never been more important.

Phil Rowley

The days of autocratic leadership might not be totally behind us, but that style doesn’t play well anymore within most organizations.

With the third decade of the twenty-first century right around the corner, we live in an age in which being a leader has become much more about managing collective brilliance and listening to team members’ points of view than at any point in human history, arguably. At the same time, those of us at the top of the org chart must maintain discipline and accountability, because we’re ultimately the ones responsible for the success of the enterprise.

Given this balancing act, modern leaders are constantly searching for answers and best practices. And one of the best ways to find them is to trade ideas with other leaders who have similar roles and face similar challenges.

John Kelliher, Donna Brazile, and Reince Priebus at the 2018 BRG Healthcare Leadership Conference.

John Kelliher, Donna Brazile, and Reince Priebus at the 2018 BRG Healthcare Leadership Conference.

That’s why, before the calendar turns to 2020, BRG will be hosting two conferences that focus on leadership in specific arenas: our Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) in October in Naples, Florida, and our Healthcare Leadership Conference in December in Washington, DC. Exploring leadership is a big interest of mine—it’s the impetus behind my new podcast—and it’s a topic that attendees who will arrive with a lot in common can discuss at both conferences.

When it comes to healthcare, leaders must deal with nuances and issues, notably regarding regulation, that aren’t present in other industries. Certainly, macro-level thinking shared with a healthcare executive and, say, a technology executive might be compelling and valuable. But we’re excited to provide a venue for leaders specifically in the medical field to discuss how they run their organizations.

Women in leadership positions face similar issues regardless of industry. Corporate America has made strides when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling. But too often—particularly when it comes to board representation—women still face many obstacles. We hope the WLC will provide opportunities for attendees to network and swap ideas, and you can get a preview of what will be shared at the event. My colleague Eddie Newland recently interviewed Sheila Heen, the CEO of Triad Consulting and a lecturer at Harvard Law School, and Andrea Kramer, a partner in an international law firm, both of whom will be speakers.

I should note that the leadership changes in recent decades are positive developments in the C-suite and, really, for life generally. But that doesn’t mean these changes don’t come with new challenges that should be addressed among peers with similar shared experiences.

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