Become a Leader for the Future Now
How could you be a leader for the future now?
I watch the leaders of our future in their hundreds of thousands, walk through the streets. They call out for current global leaders to ‘STOP’ and pay attention. This has been deeply moving and inspiring. I applaud them. And at the same time, I have found it deeply saddening. It is now up to our children to solve the crisis that we and the leaders we have chosen continue to contribute to.
Flashback to myself as a twelve year old singing ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. I stand on a hastily erected stage with about sixty other people. We are protesting about Pine Gap in Central Australia. Our numbers were bolstered by police and dark suited security officers who took photos of all those in attendance. And we all sweated it out in forty degree heat. I remember this day because I felt like I was at least doing something. I hope that is what these passionate, dedicated kids feel. Some hope in the capacity of our leaders to change.
The old paradigm of Leadership.
A top down approach is the old paradigm of leadership and is no longer seen or accepted as best practice. Here is an example of the change in perspective we need. We know it needs to happen and happen fast.
To grow into and develop our skills as leaders, we need to engage the next generation. We will join them with our commitment to change now. And to do this, we need a lot of things. Most pressingly we need a solid psychosocial /emotional values foundation to act as a structure on which to build.
What values foundation might give this message clearly? How can a Small Business Leader of the future accept and embrace this new style of leadership? We want to demonstrate that we are OPEN for business.
Humility. Adaptability. Curiosity.
The word humility does not mean acting without confidence. It does not mean being weak or lacking in assurance or assertiveness. On the other hand, this has been an error when discussing this word.
How do humble leaders think?
Humble leaders are teachable, approachable, students of life. As a result, they understand they don’t know everything and that others can always contribute.
What do humble leaders feel?
They are comfortable in their own skin, without need for bragging or ego because results speak for themselves. Humble leaders are hopeful. This means they are aware they do not have to solve all problems alone. And they acknowledge that there is great power in contribution from others. They share problems as well as the solutions. And this is humble as opposed to arrogant leadership.
Adaptability implies we actively choose to maximise circumstances and outcomes for all. Being agile, responsive and flexible, is the gift smaller operators can offer customers.
The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher – Chinese proverb.
What do adaptable leaders think?
Adaptable leaders are creative and inclusive. That is to say; they are goals oriented with no fixed ideas as to how they can reach that outcome. And therefore, they are solutions focused. Leaders with the ability to test, learn, correct, and implement on repeat. They are also able to pivot quickly.
What do adaptable leaders feel?
Adaptable leaders are optimistic, knowing they can learn the skills of capacity and creativity. They are enthusiastic, believing that growth comes in unexpected ways and can be exciting and fun.
Adaptable leaders flow to a solution; they do not remain rigid in the face of failure.
What do curious leaders think?
The curious leader believes everyone has something to offer, that others hold solutions. They regularly ask ‘what can I learn’? Including questions that open up rather than shut down communication. They recognise they don’t need to have all the answers. Therefore they are aware of the need to develop relationship and connection to others and invite information in.
What do curious leaders feel?
Curious leaders are appreciative of others skill, perspective and experience. They express interest in genuine connection and value respect, compassion and empathy. They like other people and show it.
Curious leaders practice involvement and collaboration, not indifference and separation.
A leader for the future needs to be seen, felt and heard. This enables them to be open for business, relationship, the greater good and community.
I believe practising humility, adaptability and curiosity are great places to start the change.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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