Recently, I had conversation with friend about leadership. I know what you’re thinking: everyone has a different view of ‘leadership.’ I would agree. Our conversation focused on how leadership is different than it was a generation ago.
Leaders of today have made significant changes in the way that they operate and serve their organizations. Today’s leaders are faced with more complexities, competition, and change than at any other time in history. To effectively cope and make significant change within and for the organization, leaders must be focused on ethics, social responsibility, collaboration, chaos, innovation, creativity, adaptation, system thinking, relationships, and cultural differences. In most cases this means a dramatic shift in the “mindset” of the organization, but in particular it means rethinking leadership.
Fortunately for leaders, facing the daunting task of “reinventing” themselves, leadership is a topic that has been well addressed in the literature. Unfortunately, scholars and practitioners have been unable to develop a comprehensive, normative leadership theory and model that is relevant across all individuals and situations or particularly well suited to the enigmatic business environment of the 21st century. Many I think would agree that leadership and what constitutes a leader has changed dramatically – and will continue to do so.