Leadership Role’s Changes in the 21st Century


Frequent changes in interests and views in modern society imply a constant search for new and effective management techniques in companies of different profiles. The success of an enterprise primarily depends on how well a particular leadership strategy is organized and what approaches are used to manage personnel. Working in a team requires the unity of all its members, and the task of a competent and modern leader is to organize the activities of employees, controlling the work process without interfering in every decision and leaving subordinates the right to initiate.

Changing the Role of Leadership

The introduction of new technologies in virtually all the spheres of society significantly changes traditional management approaches. Today, often, a controlling role is played by machines analyzing and calculating profits, systematizing the received data, etc. Thus, there is a tendency to change the traditional role of the leader. According to O’Connell (2014), one of the main qualities that a modern leader should possess is flexibility, that is, the ability to adapt to work in any environment and under any conditions. Rapid rhythm of the development of the society predetermines the need to timely respond to all changes, introducing new strategies and abandoning old ones. Additional factors may also be a change in employee motivation, the emergence of new sources of knowledge, the acceleration of the work regime, etc. Therefore, the change of a leadership role in the 21st century is an inevitable process that is important for consideration.

The Significance of Effective Teams

The work of leaders will be ineffective if the whole collection does not work productively enough. Team’s activities are no less important than those measures that are taken by the management. As O’Connell (2014) remarks, working in groups, employees learn to interact with one another, gradually establishing the process of work so that the leader could just regulate the direction of activity and not do all the work on his or her own. The effectiveness of the team is an essential quality that determines the success of the whole company.

Personal Experience

I happened to work in a virtual team as an organizer of the activity, along with the participants discussing the key aspects of forthcoming work and taking a decision regarding certain actions. In my opinion, the team functioned successfully because all the members had an opportunity to express their position and share their opinions. Perhaps, it is what helped to achieve the effectiveness of work and earn trust among colleagues.

The Success of Virtual Teams

While working in a virtual team, it is possible to learn many new things about how this type of activity differs from ordinary team management. For example, in such a collective, there is no rigid system of subordination since all employees work remotely and communicate exclusively at a distance. According to Hoch and Kozlowski (2014), a hierarchy structure in virtual teams is not very strong, which contributes to overall performance. Also, it was found that the opinions of each member should be heard to form a competent opinion because it is rather difficult to analyze the situation without having the opinions of all colleagues as a justification basis. Finally, in the process of work, a more creative approach to solving the task was revealed, which can be explained by the relative freedom of all participants in the team when making decisions. All these discoveries allow speaking about the effectiveness of virtual teams if the activity in them is organized competently.


Thus, the task of a modern leader is to not constantly monitor the activities of subordinates but to assist them in making decisions and coordinating their work. The role of the team, in this case, is essential since the performance of a successful collective is high. Working in virtual groups differs from activities in ordinary teams. Communication takes place at a distance, and all the decisions are taken remotely after consultation with all employees, which helps determine a further strategy.


Hoch, J. E., & Kozlowski, S. W. (2014). Leading virtual teams: Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(3), 390-403.

O’Connell, P. K. (2014). A simplified framework for 21st-century leader development. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(2), 183-203.