Usually towards the end of the year there is a spate of litany around "Trends" and prescriptions for what to do or look out for in the following year. We are in an era of abundance of the key essentials of life and this can all be ground to waste without the right Leadership. This planet is not in shortage of people who want to lead. However there is an absolute scarcity of role models. The first and only principle of leadership is growth and a leader is one who tries hard to make it happen not necessarily being in a position of power; but rather influencing and gaining power in the process of creating growth opportunities. Diversity from this context needs to be explored beyond the lip service to gender. The first on the long list of things to be achieved under diversity should be care for capability.
Jeff Bezos has been famously quoted for using "Getting It Right" as the most vaunted Leadership quality. In his dictum it supersedes smartness, maturity and / or the ability to get things done. It is not about failing or succeeding but rather persevering for what is right.
The very nature of leadership demands not coping but dealing with ambiguity, complexity and unpopularity. Leadership is about being able to take decisions that sets the path and direction for others. But unfortunately most of whom we call leaders either in societies or enterprises dither. There is a fundamental difference between Leadership and Management where the Keywords for the former are Innovation, Initiative and Inspiration. But most of the leaders are happy meeting the definition of the latter which is Maintain, Mandate and Manipulate. Institutions now use the term Digital Transformation fashionably. If the leaders are serious about it they need to transform themselves while allowing true leadership to flourish in their enterprise and societies.
The mentality and attitude of augmentation is inadequate in an era that is seeing a fundamental upheaval of life as we have known it.
The Three I's of Leadership
At the cost of sounding repetitive it is still worth mentioning that the very essence of leadership is to catalyze growth; be it in individuals, societies and / or enterprises. With that stated, growth occurs at the confluence or sweet spot of the three I's in the life journey of every leader as his / her focus resonates in action. Please refer to the above illustration.
Intuition is not a gooey vague thing that happens to people. It is a well honed part of being able to spot bright spots consciously at the right time and occasion while the subconscious is constantly honed on the abstract. This is the first and foremost essential characteristic of a leader who can demonstrate the connection between the abstract and the detail and its myriad complexity of connecting the dots in an ecosystem.
It is not enough to spot the bright spots. A good leader is one who would connect these spots not randomly but rather by testing their combination and permutations to arrive at the right application that makes a difference to life. This is the inspiration that leaders need to provide themselves and others in order to work towards the right decisions and investments. This needs courage of conviction and a clear focus on Purpose & Goals that are not only personal but also socialized and collaborated upon with a great amount of emotional quotient.
Having assured risk a leader must always act and stay ahead of the pack. This is the only way the next wave of exploration and Innovation can begin. This is also necessary to assure the rest of the pack of the impending dangers and course correction; thereby allowing for greater productivity and province.
If humans were engineered as robots at some time by nature, isn't it a travesty that we are abdicating that power of intelligence into creating robots that we ironically fear will then take our livelihoods away!
Why is the term diversity now gaining significance in a world where Information and Knowledge is freely available for every human being to aspire and choose to become a contributor in societies and enterprises? It appears as a ploy for the incumbents (Designated Leaders) to find new ways to retain power and pursuing predatory behavior that has eroded our societies from real progress. In a world that is focused majorly on commerce and creation of wealth there is absolutely no place for just a few to be privileged as leaders. Capability should include diversity and become the catchphrase for everyone to galvanize transformation.
Why do we arrogate upon ourselves the power and authority to promote diversity when we have every aspect of life democratised? Shouldn't diversity be a natural way of life?
Leadership is not an entitlement and certainly not a privilege to be bestowed by governments or boards of corporations or even jurisdiction of law enforcement and courts. Whether it is gender neutrality or freedom of sexual orientation, it has very little to do with what an individual can contribute to growth. And that must be the only measure that must consume the consciousness of people. Democracy is a sham unless people rise in revolution first within themselves and set their spirits free to boldly address the challenges of life. Then no bullying President nor Viscerally weak Venture Capitalist can stunt the progress of personal, entrepreneurial and / or societal growth.
As long as individually we do not lift and shift our Moral, Ethical and Intellectual Compass, we will always have the Pseudo Leaders instructing our lives. And that would be a pity because life has to offer much more than just being able to down a couple of pints while bitching and moaning.
I urge every single person who reads this to internalize the fact that you are living in a time of great abundance and availability. Don't limit your potential and that of the others around you. Galvanize and Energize yourself in believing that you can lead and make a difference to life. Let that be a clarion call to yourself and not just a New Year Resolution. Start now to make it a New Life Resolution. In doing this you are preparing to be a contributing factor to the digital economy that represents potential to shape and build the world around us for a better life for our children and their future generations.
There is no doubt that Societal, Enterprise and Moral Governance, Risk and Compliance needs to be rewritten NOW. Instead of looking elsewhere or waiting for someone to show up, each one of us needs to look inward and take a step forward to be a Contributor and be counted.