In the past, family business founders were able to lead through their positions alone– sourcing power and authority from their titles. This traditional form of leadership was based on the idea that authority is derived from the leader’s superior knowledge as a result of their experience and/or age.
Today, next generation leaders find themselves in a completely different environment. The fast-changing pace of business today which has been initiated by the fourth industrial revolution necessitates a new style of leadership. In the past, the elder generation have not had to contend with this rate of change. This is exacerbated by the fact that the next generation is often leading staff who are older and have more years of experience. As a result, positional leadership lacks legitimacy and effectiveness.
To be able to successfully navigate in this rapidly changing and disruptive business environment, the next generation needs to embrace a more collaborative and persuasive style of leadership. Over the next century, the world will see even greater technological changes in artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, and robotics that will rapidly transform the economic and business landscapes. Therefore more than ever, next-generation leaders must be capable of building agile, adaptable, future-focused organizations. To do so, they must embrace persuasive leadership which allows for effective change creation. Otherwise, they will fail to ensure the continued success of their family enterprises.