Experts and specialists with know-how – i.e. knowledge workers, are highly sought after individuals. They are a talent resource, which can afford to be more choosy and demanding these days.
How they are managed is vital. For instance, a directive approach based on hierarchy doesn’t wash with them anymore. The quality of the leadership they receive and having a trusted relationship with their managers are determining factors when they make decisions about whether to stay with or leave an organisation.
Organisational leaders are a critical link between knowledge workers and the organisation. How leaders put strategy into action, how they deal with issues and how they form personal relationships are of essential importance.
The leadership of knowledge workers therefore entails particular requirements. These days, management guidelines are packed with descriptions of required leadership behaviours, which managers more than agree with.
However, more than principles written on paper are necessary in order for new management behaviours to become effectively lived.
A thorough review and understanding of own values and attitudes is needed in order for leadership principles to live and not just be described and talked about. Awareness of one’s own influences and the resulting values and behaviours enables more productive co-working and better relationships between people from different backgrounds and with differing points of view.