Our world has seen dramatic changes over historic time, mostly influenced or led by memorable men and women. Such as Alexander the Great who built an empire across northern Africa and Asia. Or the Caesars of the Roman Empire who ruled for fourteen hundred years. Or Boadicea, the queen of a British tribe who led an uprising against them.
In more recent history, celebrated individuals show us what great leadership looks like for a world more similar to the one we know now. The 16th US president Abraham Lincoln and his fierce resolve to abolish slavery as well as end the American Civil War comes quickly to mind. Mahatma Gandhi gently inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world as well as easing poverty and expanding women’s rights in India. Nelson Mandela dismantled the legacy of apartheid racism in South Africa. After 27 years as a political prisoner he returned with a heart full of forgiveness and a head determined to win rights for non-whites. Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel peace prize in 1991, is finally winning the fight for democracy in Myanmar after also being imprisoned for many years.
What words describe these remarkable leaders? Perhaps selfless, humble, resolute, caring, courageous, purposeful, visionary? Perhaps all of them and more. These characteristics seem to embody what the world needed in their time. But what type of leadership does the world need today and for the future?
The industrial revolution that began in England in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s was a massive transformation from manpower to machines. Since 1969 when John F. Kennedy’s inspiration led to man’s first step on our moon, and since 1980 in particular, remarkable technical and social changes have shrunk and forever altered the world and how we interact with others. In our lifetime the pace of change and the acceleration of technological innovation leaves us breathless. Both with excitement and sometimes with fear. The first home computers became available in the 1980’s, as did the first mobile phones. The World Wide Web was invented in 1989. Now these three world-changing technologies are seamlessly combined into a single smart phone. Our primary communication platform has metamorphosed from a simple phone call into an explosion of social media choices. We can’t imagine our lives without this digital technology.
Yet with all this technical (r)evolution and so many other disruptions in a world that is constantly changing, what type of leader does this world need now? And tomorrow? And ten years from now? There is a growing concern that our leadership skills, in business, politics and the world are rapidly falling behind the complexity of challenges we face. There is a growing leadership crisis in the world because of the mass exodus of aging boomers from the workforce and the leadership skills deficit recognized worldwide. We’re in over our heads and we’re falling behind in how to develop better leaders.
As before in history, every so often someone comes along to show us what great leadership looks like. The leadership that is required for the times. This time we can look to the lifetime dedication of Bob Anderson and Bill Adams and the development of the first Universal Model of Leadership and framework for leadership development. Late in 2015 they released their book, Mastering Leadership that describes an astounding integration of most of the leadership development research to date and the psychology behind our beliefs, motivations and behaviors. The model is also proven by scientific research and statistical validity that confirms what effective leadership comprises and how effective leadership generates better business results every time. This elegant and profound Universal Model is the most important development in leadership since the early philosophers such as Plato first started asking questions such as, “What qualities distinguish an individual as a leader?”
As Bob Anderson and Bill Adams say, “We need better leaders at all levels – men and women who create thriving futures, healthy cultures and competitive companies; who balance short-term profitability with long-term sustainability; who create a better world. Mastering leadership is now a strategic priority, a competitive advantage and a global imperative.”
LeaderSharp Group is driven by our Purpose that The World Needs Better Leaders. We believe with absolute certainty that the Universal Model of Leadership, represented in the Leadership Circle Profile™ Assessment and other transformational tools from The Leadership Circle is the only answer for developing effective leaders for today and for tomorrow. It’s that important.
This is the first in a series of blogs to shine a light on a growing leadership crisis the world is facing and to explore the type of leadership that the world and our organizations desperately need today and for the future.