Finally, the need for new leadership models. Leaders today operate in a world of economic and political uncertainty, diverging economies, and hyper-connectivity. They must build organizations agile enough to adapt and fit to compete with the best in the world. They need leadership teams that bring the talent, diversity, and collaboration to spot opportunities, and then innovate and capitalize on them at an ever faster pace. They need to “walk the walk” in acting responsibly and respecting the interests of different stakeholders. And they must communicate actively and build advocacy within the organization, as trust in peers often surpasses trust in leaders.
Over 2,500 leaders from around the world gathered for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week and discussed many solutions to the world problems and how to address turbulent times. During the closing panel Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Head, asked the leaders to not relax – essentially indicating that while the crisis mood is dissipating, the world can’t afford to slip back into its old ways. And Rich Lesser’s Huffington Post article on the forum points to the same challenge to leaders – namely leadership models need to change. The old ways won’t move us forward.
The world is moving away from an ego-centric, highly opportunistic and boldly competitive model to one that is based on trust, collaboration, nimble and responsive to uncertainty. While there is much lamentation about the economic conditions and uncertainty among many industries, I personally think that these are great motivators for society to re-evaluate what’s working and what’s not from a macro level. However, there is also much to be said about stepping back and looking at oneself and whether it’s time to change direction. This is especially important for those who are striving to be leaders in business or communities.
If you actively want to take on a leadership role in this new economy, you have to come from the stance that everything you do impacts those you are leading. It’s not just about the title of leadership. You’re not only showing up for daily tasks, acquiring fancy titles, hanging with the “right people”, and cashing a nice paycheck. It’s about the mindset that you’re on this planet for a reason and that how you lead your life is what will develop your own leadership skills. You’re living life to the fullest and with purpose. Your daily contributions matter. And people matter to you most. You embrace social responsibility and sustainability as part of your corporate and community mission. You’re focused on the whole picture – how your company performs socially – economically – environmentally. It’s no longer about exploiting new markets and community members, locally or globally.
The leaders in the new economy who follow these approaches will excel and take their businesses and communities to the next level. They are sure to rub off on others who will desire to emulate their success – after all a bit of competition is always good. They will be able to adeptly navigate the turbulent waters of economic insecurity and industrial changes. After all, they know their lives matter and they’re purpose-driven.
How about you? Are you ready to lead with your purpose and show up in your business and community as if your life truly matters?
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