In the light of recent political events concerning leadership and the deteriorating reputation of our leaders to effectively deal with the challenges of the modern world, I’m drawn to the conclusion that the current leadership paradigms (not just for political parties) are not only out of date, but in many ways detrimental to addressing the challenges that we face in the 21st century.
I subscribe to the view that our actions and behaviours, both individually and collectively, contribute in some way to the results produced around us. Given some of the current results we have in the world – for example, stagnant economic growth, very low levels of engagement in our workplaces, growing divergence between rich and poor, reduction in standards of living for marginalised groups in society, climate change and increasing presence of terrorism – what does that tell us about the leadership paradigm that underpins how our leaders are dealing with these issues?
So it’s time:
1. To stop blaming other people and circumstances and using it to justify our own lack of accountability. To be responsible and first address how we are contributing – this is something we can change that will affect the results being produced.
2. To stop relating to the way we see things as the ‘only’ or ‘right’ way to see things. There are other views just as valid and being ‘right’ creates polarisation in our society. Being inclusive of diversity will open new thinking and creativity around leadership.
3. To have integrity, to honour our values, commitments, agreements and promises, and when we don’t, take responsibility, be authentic and restore integrity – integrity generates trust and respect for leadership. No integrity breeds cynicism and resignation.
4. To address the challenges we have now and will have in the future through ‘collective’ leadership, to stop looking towards others for leadership. We can all provide leadership as per the three points above, and in doing so, create a momentum for society to change.
It’s time to re-evaluate and redefine leadership for the future.