A business consultant addressing young executives in the automotive industry says leadership in the modern business environment has less to do with a single vision pronounced from on high than with building relationships among team members.
Speaking in Toronto yesterday, business consultant Jill Birch told the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Young Executive Society that modern leadership is about consolidating strengths while understanding differences in opinions to build consensus within your organization.
Describing the strategy as “relational leadership,” she insisting that maintaining an open relationship with subordinates is an effective way for a leader to combat accountability leaks, poor decisions, and bad morale.
“There has never been a better time to rethink leadership. The world has changed, and the traditional do-it-all ‘hero leader’ is no longer a sustainable practice in these complex times,” she said
The vice president of Ontario College of Art & Design went on to say, “Relational leadership is process driven, with execution in mind. Process – meaning the ways in which leadership is accomplished between people – is the often least understood aspect of an organization. Results are short-lived, and if that is your only focus, you will lack a competitive advantage.”
Birch also highlighted several trends that will have an impact on the automotive aftermarket industry, including the need to understand trends as they unfold, and the importance of understanding generational skill gaps.
About 100 young automotive executives attended the one-day conference at The International Centre in Toronto, Ont.
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada hosts its Ontario Service Providers Forum at the same venue today.