About The Article
How Many Extraordinary Leaders Do You Know?
One? Three? Four? I have been asking that question for years now and, to date, no-one has ever said above four. And yet, right now, when arguably we have never had a greater need for exceptional leadership and, when there is so much knowledge about what it takes to create an extraordinary leader, leadership greatness still seems to elude us.
Right now, there is nowhere in our standard education system or early career development where we learn the principles of self-leadership, let alone how to lead others. Yes, there are plenty of activities and opportunities where students, graduates or apprentices can get some leadership experience, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will learn how to lead.
So what should we do? We recognise that we need better leaders but are we prepared to do what it takes to get them? Given a magic wand, this is what I would do:
Start With The Individual
Traditional leadership development is all about the organisation. A group of senior people decide the values and the leadership behaviours they want to see, get all their high potentials in room and try and imbue them with their list. This system is not producing better leaders. Individuals have their own values and their own beliefs, and they are changing by generation. They also have something that puts them in their element – the thing, that when they do it, means they truly thrive and perform. We need to start here. Help people understand themselves so well, that they know how to bring all they have and be their brilliant selves.
Change What We Teach
There is no doubt change is afoot. We’re in the midst of a leadership crisis, attrition rates have reached a record high and for the first time ever we have four generations in one workplace. As we live through the fourth Industrial revolution, preparing our brightest emerging talent for the demands of a very different world has never been more important.
We should be teaching human skills – collaboration, communication, creativity, coaching, presence, agile learning, wellness and much more. In a world where over 70 per cent of jobs will change as a result of technology, we will be left with the jobs that only humans can do. Being human has never been more valuable or important. To continue reading please click here
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