Saturday, July 28, 2012

Three Trends of Future of Leadership

It takes three C essentials: character, creativity, capability to shape up transformational leadership.
Leadership is both art and science, there are numerous great books and articles every year to decode it, but nobody can completely solve leadership puzzle yet, though we brainstorm the seven ingredients for future of leadership, 

it seems always to have some missing ingredients there, as leadership is so dynamic,  some prestigious management gurus articulate: the real leadership is about transforming the system now, could it be a missing ingredient? How to create it, what could be the future trends of leadership?

 1. Wisdom –Strategic Imperative

The fittest may survive; the wisest may lead, and the most innovative business may thrive;

Modern leadership puts some emphasis on leaders’ three types of intelligence:
Business intelligence to analyze and break down the problem, frame process to execute it; Social Intelligence: know the power bridge to lift up career; or Emotional Intelligence: act properly under pressure; it's necessary but not sufficient to lead to today's business dynamic: more mechanic than innovative, homogeneous than heterogeneous, even we expand them into ten bits of intelligence for leadership innovation which is crucial for today’s leaders, still, there’s something missing,  at today’s super-complex, hyper-connected and interdependent business dynamic, walking through all sorts of intelligence, we may just need reach the next,  transformational level: wisdom:  

Wisdom is the Highest Level of Intelligence:
Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom. 

Intelligence may still divide the thoughts, wisdom will unify the cognizance, encircle the world; leadership wisdom is multi-dimensional pursuit of collective thinking, embrace full spectrum of diversity, culture, and change management

·      Wisdom speaks of nature:

It’s reflection or self-awareness; at pre-social age, we may know political or business leaders via media, as public face for their organizations,  but culture or media seems regard leadership as entertainment sometimes: glorify or vilify one promptly, appreciate & amplify the story such as: today's PR face of company is working for the competitor at the 2nd day, to blur the essential with style, to confuse trend with fad, or despise leadership value to reward opposite;

At today’s social era, it’s more effective for leaders to lead via self-reflection or “self-service”, such as blogging or communicate through other social channels in order to deliver more cohesive message about authentic self and thought process,  to figure out unique leadership signature, put simply, leadership need present wisdom, not just put a show.

Leadership is an influence, influence is from wisdom, wisdom speaks of nature, here are five nature views of leadership.

2. Three “C”s of Leadership Essential

Modern society may also blur leadership with management, there’s intersection between two disciplines, but leadership is more about effectiveness-doing right things, and management is more about efficiency –dong things right; Will three Cs here make leadership transformational –to hunt for such a missing ingredient?

<·     Character:  Character means many things, it’s the human's blueprint, the combination of values, attitude and the integrity,  also like a seed, with its own uniqueness & color theme, the nurturing environment may help sprout it up; The character of great leaders may also like diamond, solid, but not tedious; shining but not flamboyant, perfect balance of Ying & Yang, it can be polished for better!

Character may cascade more crucial Cs in leadership essentials:
--Courage: to overcome barrier, breakdown ceilings or correct bias;
--Confidence: Character is from the heart, confidence is about heart feelings.
--Consistence: the characters may help develop habits to strengthen skills.

Character means the abstract level of human recognition: you may see something in common between a 10-year-old cute boy and Mother Teresa, like integrity/commitment; or a teenage witty girl have same traits with Winston Churchill, such as tenacity and optimism. Not only for leaders, at every level of talent recruiting and development, being a good judge of character… that's where the real skill gets tested, the value gets rooted, and the performance gets achieved, make a tough choice for your talent strategy to add the missing ingredient for business transformation.

 Creativity: If wisdom is leadership’s strategic imperative, then innovation is business’s imperative today,  it's requirement for all leaders; not just entrepreneur; creative leaders may have nature curiosity to dig through; creative leadership will champion the culture of innovation, walk the talk, enjoy divergent thinking and new ideas; tolerate failure or reward the one who thinks differently.

To quote Colonel Scott Krawczyk, one of the educators: “From the very earliest days of this country, the model for our officers, which was built on the model of the citizenry and reflective of democratic ideals, was to be different. They were to be possessed of a democratic spirit marked by independent judgment, the freedom to measure action and to express disagreement, and the crucial responsibility never to tolerate tyranny.”

 Capability: Future of leaders need think big, deep and long, practice innovation, decision and action.

1) Thinking Out Louder: Thinking Capability

Future of leaders needs to think creatively, independently reflectively and flexibly. As saying's going: you can send kids to college, you can not teach one how to think; Some high educated people may not know how to think at all; Thinking capability will be directly linked to one’s wisdom and leadership influence. As the author of Solitude and Leadership well put: “Solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. is one of the most important necessities of true leadership.”

2) Being Solutonary: Problem Solving Capability

The future of education is to produce solutionary, today and future of leaders need exemplify to be such a solutionary, that said, leadership is not about power play or just public face for business, it needs design, develop and deploy new ways of thinking (big ideas) that crafts good strategy, and inspire people to take action..  

3) Being Learning Agile: Learning Capability

Future of leaders need be a coach, also “stay foolish stay Hungary” at the same time, leaders need continue to learn and influence not only the team but also across the team, work within the system and on the system, to make a positive influence on culture and education.

3. Leadership Convergence

 The missing ingredient of leadership may also be hunted through leadership convergence, leadership transformation needs both  divergent thinking and convergent understanding.

 Leadership wisdom embraces inclusion: recognizing, respecting, managing and leveraging similarities and differences to achieve superior business results worldwide.

Leadership convergence also means all sorts of leaders: no matter you are leaders in public service or private sector; community or religion, entrepreneurs or enterprise executives cross-geographic boundary, can find common ground, appreciate same value, unify opinions, and make humanity progress, through universal wisdom. 


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Dear Pearl Zhu,

Great article, well done! very insightful, a must-read :D

I am writing for your permission to feature this article in our Guild of HR e-Mag.

Let me know if you're keen for us to take this forward

Looking forward to hear from you

Shima Rahman
Editor, Guild of HR e-Mag
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


why they are not visiable now?

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