How Do We Leave Industrial Age Leadership Behind? - Peter Boolkah

We’re all used to the idea of a hierarchical, top-down organization chart. But what if that’s not the most effective way to run a business anymore? In this blog post, we’ll explore how industrial-age leadership structures are no longer working and suggest alternative approaches that might be more successful.

What is Industrial Age Leadership?

Industrial age leadership is all about top-down authority. Leaders in this era believed they knew what was best for their employees and that it was their job to tell them what to do. This style often resulted in resentment from employees who felt they were being treated like children. Industrial age leaders also tended to be hierarchical, with clear lines of authority and control. This style can be effective in certain situations, but it often leads to inflexibility and a lack of creativity.

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Evolution of Leadership Theory From the Industrial Age to the Present

The industrial age was a time of significant change. The world was transitioning from an agrarian society to one becoming increasingly industrialised. This meant that there were new leadership opportunities but also new challenges. Leaders during this period had to learn how to effectively manage and motivate workers in factories and other industrial settings.

The scientific management movement, which emerged during the early part of the 20th century, was a response to the challenges of industrialisation. This movement focused on creating efficient systems and processes to increase productivity. Leaders during this period were concerned with creating efficient work environments and maximising output.

During the mid-20th century, the human relations movement began to gain popularity. This movement emphasised the human element of work and the importance of good working relationships. Leaders during this period began focusing more on creating a positive work environment and motivating employees.

The late 20th century saw the rise of various theories, such as transformational and situational leadership. These theories focused on leaders’ ability to inspire and motivate employees to achieve common goals. Leaders during this period began to focus on developing their unique style of leadership that would be most effective in achieving results.

Today, leaders are still grappling with the challenges of the 21st century. The global economy has made it necessary for leaders to be more adaptable and innovative than ever before. Leaders today must also be able to manage change and uncertainty effectively. As the world continues to change, leaders will need to continue to adapt and evolve their leadership styles to meet the ever-changing needs of the times.

Why is Leadership Important in Digital Age?

In the digital age, leadership is more critical than ever. With the advent of new technologies, the way we work and communicate has changed dramatically. Leaders need to be able to adapt to these changes and use them to their advantage.

Digital leaders can harness the power of new technologies and use them to create value for their organizations. They are innovators and visionaries who are constantly looking for ways to improve the way things are done. They are willing to take risks and experiment with new ideas.

Digital leaders have a clear vision for their organizations and can articulate it in a way that motivates others to follow them. They are excellent communicators and have strong interpersonal skills, and they can also build trust and inspire confidence in those they lead.

Digital leaders can make decisions quickly and efficiently. They can think outside the box and create creative solutions to problems. They are also comfortable with change and can quickly adapt to new market situations.

Digital leaders can see the potential in new technologies and use them to their advantage. They are always looking for ways to improve the way things are done. To be a leader in the digital age, you need to have these qualities.

What Are Different Types of Leadership?

There are many different types of styles. The most common are autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which should be considered when choosing a leadership style.

Autocratic leaders are those who make all the decisions without consulting others. This can be an effective style when quick decisions need to be made and there is no time for discussion. However, it can also lead to team members’ resentment if they feel they are not being listened to or respected.

Democratic leaders encourage input from their team members before making decisions. This can help build morale and buy-in from the team, but it can also lead to decision-making processes that are slow and cumbersome.

Laissez-faire leaders take a hands-off approach and allow their team members to make decisions. This can be an effective leadership style if you have a highly-skilled and experienced team. However, it can also lead to chaos if team members are not on the same page.

The best leadership style is the one that best fits the situation and the team. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s essential to be flexible and adaptable. The most important thing is to ensure that your team has the information and resources they need to be successful.

If you’re unsure which leadership style is right for you, consider taking a leadership assessment. This can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses to choose the style that best suits your needs.

Leadership Attributes in the Digital Age

What does it mean to be a leader in the digital age?

Are there specific attributes that are required for leadership in this era?

The digital age has ushered in a new era of leadership. This is an age where leaders must be able to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology and social media. They must be able to inspire and motivate their team in a way that engages them on a personal level. And they must be able to make decisions quickly, based on data and analytics.

Leadership in the digital age requires different skills than leadership in previous eras. Leaders must be adaptable and quick-thinking, with the ability to make decisions based on data. They must also be inspiring and motivating, with the ability to connect with their team on a personal level. If you want to be a leader in the digital age, these are the attributes you need to succeed.

Leadership During the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Regarding leadership during the fourth industrial revolution, there are a few key things to remember. First, leaders need to be able to adapt to change and embrace new technologies. They also need to be able to inspire and motivate their team members. Finally, leaders need to have a clear vision for the future and articulate it in a way everyone can understand.

The fourth industrial revolution is about technology and how it changes our lives and work. Leaders need to be at the forefront of this change, embracing new technologies and using them to their advantage. They also need to be able to inspire their team members to do the same. A clear vision for the future and articulating it will be essential for leaders during this time.

Change can be difficult, but businesses must stay ahead of the curve. Leaders who can adapt and embrace change will be the ones who thrive during the fourth industrial revolution.

Management Versus Leadership

There’s a difference between management and leadership, and it’s essential to understand that difference if you want to be an effective leader. Management is about control. Leaders are about influence.

Managers try to control their people and their environment. They want things to be done a certain way and use their position of authority to ensure that happens. Leaders, on the other hand, don’t try to control. They influence.

Leaders are influential because they have a vision for what they want to achieve and can communicate that vision in a way that inspires others to join them in achieving it. Leaders also build relationships of trust with the people they work with. This allows them to influence others without having to resort to controlling them.

To be an effective leader, it’s essential to understand the difference between management and leadership. And it’s also important to remember that leadership is about influence, not control.

Leadership as we Knew it in the Industrial Age

The Industrial Age saw the rise of mass production and a new kind of leader: the factory manager. This new breed of leader was epitomized by Frederick Winslow Taylor, the so-called “father of scientific management.”

As his system came to be known, Taylorism was all about efficiency. Its goal was to get the most work possible out of each worker to maximize productivity. To this end, workers were closely monitored, and their every move was timed and analyzed. They were given specific tasks and expected to perform them the same way every time. There was little room for creativity or independent thought.

Not surprisingly, workers under this system often felt like they were little more than cogs in a machine. And indeed, that’s how many factory managers saw them. Workers were viewed as interchangeable parts, and if one broke down or could no longer work, there were always plenty more where they came from.

This kind of thinking still informs the way many businesses are run today. The fast food industry is perhaps the best example. McDonald’s, for instance, is notorious for its rigid standardization and strict rules for workers, and there is little room for deviation from the company’s carefully designed system.

This kind of leadership may have been influential in the Industrial Age, but it isn’t well suited to the challenges of the 21st century. In today’s rapidly changing world, businesses need to be agile and adaptable, requiring a different kind of leader.

The good news is that there are plenty of new leadership models to choose from. So if you’re ready to ditch the old-fashioned, top-down leadership style of the past, there’s no shortage of options. It’s time to embrace a new way of leading in the 21st century.

Leadership in the Digital Age

In the digital age, leadership is more critical than ever. With more and more businesses moving online, leaders need to be able to adapt and change with the times.

However, leadership in the digital age can be a challenge. With so many new technologies and platforms to keep up with, it can be challenging to stay ahead of the curve. But, using some simple strategies, you can ensure you’re always one step ahead.

Here are five tips for leading in the digital age:

1. Keep up with technology

A leader must stay up-to-date with all the latest technology and trends. By keeping up with the latest innovations, you’ll be able to make better decisions for your business.

2. Be open to change

In the digital age, things are constantly changing. You must be open to change and adapt to new situations as a leader.

3. Communicate effectively

With so many different channels of communication, it’s crucial to be able to communicate effectively. Whether you’re communicating with employees or customers, ensure you’re clear and concise.

Final Words

We are undoubtedly in between the industrial era and the knowledge worker age. Many of today’s leaders are still a byproduct of industrial-age thinking and training. Companies with an older hierarchy struggle to deal with the younger workforce as the thinking between the two is too far apart.

Digital technology and, more importantly, the digital mindset are here to stay. CEO leadership development must focus on the shift to the digital era and enable younger talent to excel if they want their companies to succeed in industry 4.0.

If any of this has resonated with you today, contact me. I definitely recommend that you buy Michael’s book; if you can’t back yourself, who is going to back you? Buy it and further your knowledge.


What is leadership industrial management?

Leadership industrial management is the study of how leaders and managers can create and maintain successful organizations. It is a relatively new field that emerged in the early 20th century due to the growing complexity of businesses and other organizations.

Leadership industrial management theorists have developed several models and frameworks for understanding and analyzing organizational behaviour. These include theories of organization design, leadership style, change management, and human resources management.

The field of leadership industrial management is constantly evolving, as new research provides insights into the best ways to manage organizations. However, some core principles remain unchanged. These include the importance of effective communication, clear goals, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

If you want to learn more about leadership and industrial management, there are several resources available. These include books, articles, and online courses. You can also find programs that offer certification in this field.

How does age influence leadership?

Age often dictates the kind of leadership that is necessary. In general, younger leaders tend to be more idealistic and passionate, while older leaders are more experienced and realistic. This doesn’t mean that one type of leader is better than the other but that each type of leader is better suited for different situations.

Younger leaders are often more effective when innovation and change are needed. Their idealism and passion can be contagious, inspiring others to believe that anything is possible. On the other hand, older leaders are usually more effective in situations where stability and experience are valued. Their years of experience can be invaluable in guiding others through difficult times.

The most effective leaders can usually adapt their style to the situation. A good leader knows when to be passionate and realistic, when to focus on the future and when to focus on the present. Age is just one factor that can influence a leader’s style. The most important thing is to be aware of the different styles and to know when to use each one.

Leadership is not about age, and it’s about understanding the needs of those you lead and adapting your style to meet them. You’ll be an effective leader at any age if you can do that.

What are the different types of leadership in industrial management?

There are four different types of leadership in industrial management: autocratic, paternalistic, democratic, and laissez-faire.

Autocratic leadership is when the leader controls the group and makes all the decisions. This type of leadership can be effective in emergencies or when quick decisions need to be made. However, it can also lead to a feeling of oppression among team members and can stifle creativity.

Paternalistic leadership is similar to autocratic leadership in that the leader controls the group. However, paternalistic leaders make decisions based on what they believe is best for the team rather than what the team wants or needs. This type of leadership can create a dependency among team members and lead to resentment.

Democratic leadership is when the leader consults with the team before making decisions. This type of leadership fosters creativity and collaboration but can be time-consuming.

Laissez-faire leadership is when the leader leaves the decision-making up to the team. This type of leadership can lead to empowerment among team members but can also lead to chaos if there is no clear leader.


“Remember: failing to learn is learning to fail.”

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