Leadership Innovation in 21st Century

Monday, October 3, 2011 | comments

A leader is a dealer in hope."                                    — Napoleon Bonaparte

In today’s hyper-competitive, rapidly changing digitized global environment, the average Fortune 500 company last only fifteen years, economic turmoil and Great Recession make the last decade  “lost decade” for many organizations and industries, innovation is the only secret source to revive and re-energize troubled businesses,  leadership innovation is the key ingredient and first step first to embrace the changes.

20th century’s stereotyped leadership style is neither sufficient nor complete, what is the leadership in 21st century, here are some new characteristics of modern leadership:

1.     See the world of color, instead of black and white
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.                                                                                                           John Quincy Adams

Many 20th century managers see the world with black & white vision via the mono-color lens, see the business either as partner or competitor, see the person either friend or enemy; well, multi-polar world in 21st century is the world full of color, also blur the lines from the view of multiple angles. The creative, synthesized words such as :

Well conceive the paradoxical reality today, and modern leadership also need reflect the theme, to embrace, engage and inspire the more authentic leadership with color.

2.     More like Educators than Entertainer
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.-Ralph Nader

The authentic leaders should be more like educators:
--Great educators instill the values by being as a role model
--Great educator share knowledge with passion
--Great educators test class by asking questions, and seek variety of reasonable answers

On the other hand, entertainer may have more fans and followers, with different set of skills, mostly entertainers don’t need always be self, the scripture is not always her or his own thought, the action may not always have the positive impact for our society.

3.     Act as Bridge, than the Wall
"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities"  Stephen R. Covey
  Though the wall looks strong, and visible, it divides silos at our organization and our society; on the other hand, bridge is more transparent and classic, shorten the physical distance, even becomes landmark for our communities.

Leadership is like bridge, visible, but not too overwhelming, solid with style, to connect the world with elegance.

4.     Half Water, Half Flame
Firing up leadership mix humanity with humility, lead with passion, sincerity, vision and mission

Water flowing leadership is on behalf of the flowing wisdom, the insightful observation, the analytic prediction, and knowledge accumulating.

Hybrid leadership style means visible, but intangible, deep also inspiring.    http://futureofcio.blogspot.com/2011/07/five-elements-of-authentic-leadership.html,

5.     Influencer, than Authority
Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them."                            — John Maxwell

20th century’s leadership with authority lead through command and control at hierarchical pyramid like organization, modern digital technology shape natural leaders via multi-dimensional influence, to voice through broader base of audience and make influence on any interesting subject more seamlessly

Influential leadership helps framework the open leadership, social enterprise,  unleash talent potential and capture collective wisdom.  

6.     Leadership is more like compass, than Alarm

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

The authentic leadership like compass, the true north leadership lead the right direction with sound judgment,  shared human values, open mind and collective intelligence.

The authentic leaders lead at front of the crisis time, but more importantly, the true leaders should predict the danger, and well prepare the worst case scenario.

7 Authentic Leadership is a Nature Power
The influential leaders scent like flower, nature and authentic, touching like wind, nurturing like rain, and bright like rainbow.     

Leadership innovation is a prototype project, need experiment, exploring with audacity.

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe' a part limited in time and space…. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." ---Albert Einstein
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