Three Trends of Future of Leadership

Saturday, July 28, 2012 | comments

Leadership is both art and science, there’re numerous great books and articles every year to decode it, but nobody can completely solve leadership puzzle yet, though we brainstorm the seven ingredients for future of leadership, it seems always have some missing ingredients there, as leadership is also dynamic,  some prestigious management gurus articulate: the real leadership is about transforming the system now, could it be a missing ingredient? How to create it, what could be the future trends of leadership?

 1. Wisdom –Strategic Imperative

The fittest may survive; the wisest may lead; and the most innovative business may thrive;

Modern leadership puts some emphasis on leaders’ three types of intelligence:
Business intelligence to analyze and breakdown the problem, frame process to execute it; Social Intelligence: know the power bridge to lift up career; or Emotional Intelligence: act properly under pressure; it's necessary but not sufficient to lead at today's business dynamic: more mechanic than innovative, homogeneous than heterogeneous, even we expand them into ten intelligences for leadership innovation which are crucial for today’s leaders, still, there’s something missing,  at today’s super-complex, hyper-connected and interdependent business dynamic, walking through all sorts of intelligence, we may just need reach the next,  transformational level: wisdom:  

·  Wisdom is Highest Level of Intelligence:
Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom. 

Intelligence may still divide the thoughts, wisdom will unify the cognizance, encircle the world; leadership wisdom is multi-dimensional pursuit of collective thinking, embrace full spectrum of diversity, culture and change management

·      Wisdom speaks of nature:

It’s reflection, or self-awareness; at pre-social age, we may know political or business leaders via media, as public face for their organizations,  but culture or media seems regard leadership as entertainment sometimes: glorify or vilify one promptly, appreciate & amplify the story such as: today's PR face of company is working for the competitor at the 2nd day, to blur the essential with style, to confuse trend with fad, or despise leadership value to reward opposite;

At today’s social era, it’s more effective for leaders to lead via self-reflection or “self service”, such as blogging or communicate through other social channels in order to deliver more cohesive message about authentic self and thought process,  to figure out unique leadership signature, put simply, leadership need present wisdom, not just put a show.
Leadership is influence, influence is from wisdom, wisdom speaks of nature, here is five nature views of leadership.

2. Three “C”s of Leadership Essential

Modern society may also blur leadership with management, there’s intersection between two disciplines, but leadership is more about effectiveness-doing right things, and management is more about efficiency –dong things right; Will three Cs here make leadership transformational –to hunt for such a missing ingredient?

<·     Character

 Character means many things, it’s the human's blueprint, the combination of values, attitude and the integrity,  also like a seed, with its own uniqueness & color theme, the nurturing environment may help sprout it up; The character of great leaders may also like diamond, solid, but not tedious; shining but not flamboyant, perfect balance of Ying & Yang, it can be polished for better!

Character may cascade more crucial Cs in leadership essentials:
--Courage: to overcome barrier, breakdown ceilings or correct bias;
--Confidence: Character is from heart, confidence is about heart feelings.
--Consistence: the characters may help develop habits to strengthen skills.

Character means the abstract level of human recognition: you may see something in common between a 10-year-old cute boy and Mother Teresa, like integrity/commitment; or a teen-age witty girl have same traits with Winston Churchill, such as tenacity and optimism.

Not only for leaders, at every level of talent recruiting and development, being a good judge of character… that's where the real skill gets tested, the value get rooted, and the performance get achieved, make a tough choice for your talent strategy to add the missing ingredient for business transforation.

·      Creativity

If wisdom is leadership’s strategic imperative, then innovation is business’s imperative today,  it's requirement for all leaders; not just entrepreneur; creative leaders may have nature curiosity to dig through; creative leadership will champion the culture of innovation, walk the talk, enjoy divergent thinking and new ideas; tolerate failure or reward the one who thinks differently.

To quote Colonel Scott Krawczyk, one of educators: “From the very earliest days of this country, the model for our officers, which was built on the model of the citizenry and reflective of democratic ideals, was to be different. They were to be possessed of a democratic spirit marked by independent judgment, the freedom to measure action and to express disagreement, and the crucial responsibility never to tolerate tyranny.”

·     Capability

1) Thinking Out Louder: Thinking Capability

Future of leaders need think creatively, independently reflectively and flexibly. As say going: you can send kids to college, you can not teach one how to think; Some high educated people may not know how to think at all; Thinking capability will be directly link to one’s wisdom, and leadership influence. As author of Solitude and Leadership well put: “Solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. is one of the most important necessities of true leadership.”

2) Being Solutonary: Problem Solving Capability

The future of education is to produce solutionary, today and future of leaders need exemplify to be such a solutionary, that said, leadership is not about power play or just public face for business, it needs design, develop and deploy new ways of thinking (big ideas) that crafts good strategy, and inspire people to take action..  

3) Being Learning Agile: Learning Capability

Future of leaders need be coach, also “stay foolish stay Hungary” at the same time, leaders need continue to learn and influence not only the team, but also cross the team, work within the system and on the system, to make positive influence on culture and education.
Future of leaders need think big, deep and long, practice innovation, decision and action,

3. Leadership Convergence

 The missing ingredient of leadership may also be hunted through leadership convergence, leadership transformation need bother divergent thinking and convergent understanding.

 Leadership wisdom embrace inclusion: recognizing, respecting, managing and leveraging similarities and differences to achieve superior business results worldwide.

Leadership convergence also means all sorts of leaders: no matter you are leaders in public service or private sector; community or religion, entrepreneurs or enterprise executives cross-geographic boundary, can find common ground, appreciate same value, unify opinions, and make humanity progress, through universal wisdom. 

Leadership takes raw talent, but more about persistence, dedication, and some personal sacrifice, more importantly, the change is accelerated and the world is more connected, future of leaders need wisdoms, global mindset, and three C essentials: character, creativity, capability to shape up transformational leadership and embrace leadership convergence. 
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