A popular song begins, “The times they are a changing,” and never has that been so true. It was confirmed when I recently read “Future Trends in Leadership Development” from the Center for Creative Leadership. It highlights new ways for thinking about leadership and about preparing leaders.
Leadership must change for the future. We cannot continue to look for the “one” leader who will guide us and lead us to something better.
These are times of ambiguity, constant change, complexity and uncertainty and helping people develop a set of leadership “skills/competencies” is no longer sufficient. To deal with the new realities, individuals must also become more self-aware and be highly skilled at developing and using advanced networks. They need to use those networks to work collaboratively on complex issues and to develop strategies for dealing with ambiguity. The “solutions” are not evident because many of the problems are more complex and answers and possible solutions will come from new ways of thinking and new ways of people working together.
Change will be the new constant. We must deal with change in the present and then be ready to change again. Leaders must be comfortable with change and help their organizations prepare for it and deal with it.
So welcome to leadership for the 21st century. It is collaborative, inclusive and champions change now and in the future. The future is permanent white water and enlightened leadership will help us navigate the waves and rocks in our paths.