The perks of old-style executives no longer exist in the business world. Personal car parking spaces, private dining areas and senior privileges are no longer considered appropriate. These old-style leaders will probably have been leaders based on authority and position, as opposed to being the sort of authentically effective leaders that we see in modern businesses. .
In fact, the business world is taking quite the opposite approach. Whilst executive leaders still head up organisations they are expected to be more accessible to their people. They are expected to be authentic and be role models for the company’s values.
After major disasters in the business world, like Enron and the global financial crisis, ethics have become an important aspect of business leadership. Historically, executives have received large bonuses and special immunities even in difficult times when their organisations have not performed. However over the past ten to fifteen years people have shown their disdain with executives being rewarded for failure. There has been a huge shift in what is acceptable in terms of executive remuneration and the extent to which they should be treated differently to anyone else.
Organisations aren’t machines and people aren’t cogs. Over the years, executives have learnt that they need more engagement, so hierarchies are flattening,some of the layers are disappearing, and the “C-suite” is being brought nearer to their people.
So executive leadership is now much more about how executives within a business respond, communicate, behave and influence the people around them. There are still clear distinctions in terms of executive remuneration but this has to be justifiable. People have lost their trust in executive leaders and only being transparent and ethical will start to rebuild that trust.