We live in turbulent and ever-changing times. Trust has diminished. Conversations in the media and social media platforms are toxic. Expectations have increased. Scrutiny by the media and regulatory agencies have spiked. Leadership has changed, and so must you. The skills and behaviors below reflect what's needed to thrive and impact in this new era of leadership, business, government, and society.
V.0 leaders create positive impact for good. Organizations, governments, and societies worldwide need leaders who will create positive impact for the good of all. You could call it systems leadership, or the bringing together of key actors to solve wicked problems. Gone are the days when organizations and shareholders benefit at the expense of people, society, and the environment. Some leaders and organizations will still work under the old model and some will even be successful, but they will be fewer in number as we move forward into an age of accountability.
V.0 leaders are driven by mission within a framework of core values and behaviors. In other words, a leader focused primarily on financial returns to shareholders are not mission-driven.
V.0 leaders are accountable, and as such, they expect accountability from those they lead and work with.
V.0 leaders are trusted and trustworthy. Trust is missing in most aspects of society, government, and business. We seem to care more about our own agenda or the agenda of the party, organization, or business we're affiliated with than on what is best or right. When people know that we love them and that we will always do what we believe in our heart is right, trust will abound.
Loving and Kind
V.0 leaders love people. They recognize a genuine opportunity to lift, love, and build others. Everyone deserves love and kindness. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. It's a basic human right that no person, no government, and no organization can take away. We all thrive when we're loved. Just as Martin Luther King taught that only light can drive out darkness, only love and kindness can improve the behavior of others. This doesn't mean that you don't make difficult decisions. On the contrary, a V.0 leader gives her people opportunities and support to develop and succeed, yet holds her team accountable based on responsibilities and deliverables. But, when difficult decisions are needed regarding people, a V.0 leader executes those decisions with love and kindness.
V.0 leaders ensure everyone in the organization is provided opportunities to learn and develop at the rate they're ready to learn and according to the priorities of the organization. Too many times there are hidden gems who have the ability and desire but haven't yet had the formal training and opportunity to apply that training. Giving opportunities to develop and excel to those who would otherwise not have it, is extremely rewarding for the leader and the individual.
V.0 leaders create diverse teams. Diversity has many faces as it naturally should. Diversity at its core is about differences, differences in perspective, belief, experience (including life and work), education, leadership, and other key aspects. Diversity should not be driven by quotas. People are not objects but valued givers and receivers. Diversity should therefore be driven by a desire to achieve an objective with a more complete and holistic organization, representative of the society being served. As a leader, I want the best people next to me. The best people are those who look, think, act, and believe differently than I do, who will improve my thinking and provide a perspective I wouldn't naturally consider. What should diversification look like in your organization based on our mission and core values?
Learners and Innovators
V.0 leaders are actively and continually learning and innovating. Curiosity, exploration, discovery, and continual improvement fuel this learning. Naturally, those organizations led by V.0 leaders are themselves actively learning and innovating.
V.0 leaders anticipate future trends that could affect business and proactively consider how to utilize technology to maximize impact and reduce unnecessary risk. Doing this will prepare your organization for a time like COVID-19 in which some companies became crippled while others thrived. 12 months prior to this event, I implemented a technology-first priority for my organization as we trained and supported other leaders and organizations. COVID-19 accelerated our successful adoption of this initiative and has made us a more impactful and mobile organization as a result.
Builders of people, partnerships, bridge relationships.