The Future Is Now: 21st Century Leadership

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Authenticity and transparency are to be the hallmarks of emerging and successful leadership this century.

No longer will leaders be able to hide behind the veil of unaccountability and untouchability.

For in this new world, men and women will gravitate towards leaders who are in the dark as they are in the light. Transparent, vulnerable and approachable.

And if leaders are exposed for whom they really are, in a questionable light, the customers, the clients, the followers, the listeners, the watchers – they will leave – and leave in droves. Governments will be overturned. Buildings will be vacated, and businesses will fold.

Unless the people are engaged in the conversation and allowed to contribute, and are allowed to voice their opinion in an environment of openness, they will seek greener pastures.

No longer is the leadership model pyramidal. The pyramid is long dead and gone, and has suddenly been leveled to unveil a landscape that is now broad and expansive, and where the leader has been offered the opportunity to embrace their followers in a spirit of love, compassion, respect and understanding.

People will no longer be told what to do. We saw this ever so clearly when the Berlin Wall crumbled, and cracks are already beginning to appear in other ideologies that have enclosed other nations in the past. With these will also fall the hidden walls that many a leader is currently hiding behind – whether in politics, education, organizations, charities, churches or businesses – the walls will fall.

And what shall we call this new model that is forming every second, even as I write? I call it sociocratic, and it is covering the earth with the speed of technology’s ever-reaching grasp. Before long it will have touched each and every corner of the earth, with ever-increasing speed.

If we as leaders are going to rise up as the true and respected leaders of not only the Baby Boomers, the Gen X’s, Gen Y’s and the Gen Z’s, along with all of the future generations that will follow – we as leaders will need to put on our listening ears. These generations are demanding, and will continue to demand, to be heard. They want to be loved and respected as contributors, and not just as receivers.

No longer will they sit on the sidelines to be told what to do. They want to be heard. But if there is no-one listening they will leave with either their votes or their support in search of another who will take the time to hear their voice.

A new day of leadership is dawning.

So we as leaders need to take note if we are still stuck in the 20th Century. We must review our model. We must analyse our style. We must come down off our mountains. For the people in the valley are ready to be led by true 21st Century leadership.

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