New age leadership – meaning and lessons

leadership, The platform of life has never been tailor-made for any individual.

We all start growing up in the world of academics – where we are taught to outperform others in order to be considered successful.

And then, one fine day, when we leave the world of academics, reality hits us in that moment when we realize that we have to re-train ourselves, re-wire ourselves to perform with others.
Holding this dichotomy as a legacy, the world is now looking to create new age leaders.

leadership, Leaders who are expected to find ways to complete the puzzle, knowing that all pieces are almost never available with them.

To explain it a little more, in the world of academics, the answers are question dependent. And in the world of leadership, all solutions are situation dependent.

It is here that one needs to take a pause and reflect a bit. Isn’t it ironical that perhaps the best example of unconditional, value-based leadership is right under our noses.

Observe the lady of any average household. The most unsung hero of the world. No titles, no formal designation, no fancy corner office or ergonomic work-desk, no super salary packages, no formal coaching and skills development programs.

Each person in an average family is so different. With different likes, dislikes, different tastes and totally different thought processes at times.

Parents, grandparents, children, grand-children, in-laws, all so different. And yet, the lady of almost any house knows how to manage and satisfy the whims and fancies of all the members.

Leadership And that too, at short notice. Most of them have self-mastered the art of project management by producing optimum results, almost always, with whatever limited resources they have been provided.

Reflect on the times when unexpected guests drop in, and a quick meal has to be rustled up in even the poorest of houses. Or when children walk in with a bunch of naughty friends who wish to spend the day playing games and eating junk food.
Or when there is a sudden, critical illness in the family, and the entire schedule needs to be re-managed.
On the other hand, take any day in our professional lives. Look at the number of so-called professionals getting paranoid when expectations deviate from prescribed norms.
Leadership We see professionals regularly cribbing about not being able to meet their mandates because of not having adequate resources.
Then again, look at the lady of any house. She walks the talk with her family. She is fair and transparent in her dealings, she accepts her flaws and gives a lot of space to manage the shortcomings of her family members.
A leader too, is expected to know themselves well and to walk the talk on the values they claim to uphold. Leaders are also expected to acknowledge any failures, bad judgmental calls or mistakes and to take accountability for them.
Many a times, leaders, including those well regarded as role models in their field, fall short of these expectations.
Welcome to the rapidly hurtling twenty-first century. New age leadership, where one is required to deal with at least three diverse generations of team players, requires one to operate with the firm belief that there are no “no solution” situations.
leadership, in reality, can succeed fully only when they nurture and mentor a new breed of leaders. No matter how many successful milestones may have been achieved, no matter how large their teams may be, their task would remain incomplete unless, from the word go, they build their own succession line-up.
Over generations and over centuries, leadership has remained the same. Yet, the speed of reactions, the complexity and context of decisions has changed dramatically.
Let us take a look at one key area. Technological disruptions. They have been so many and so frequent that “disruption has become the new constant”.
Innovations, machine learning, artificial intelligence, online models, home delivery models have impacted all industries and sectors, irrespective of their scale and size or legacy. The speed in each of these areas is only going to increase.
The emergence of entrepreneurship and startups which are agile, and have a head-start on technology, and also have the ability to significantly disrupt traditional business models are giving a major headache to old legacy businesses which are either grossly underprepared or reluctant to change old ways.
Ever evolving consumer trends, new tools, methods and ways of customer engagement and marketing, fragmentation of markets, rapid shift of economic growth potential, and low cost of entry into markets need a large dose of resilience to manage.
This entire, massive, ever-changing jigsaw puzzle can only be put together if there is a sizeably increased focus on grooming, mentoring, nurturing new-age leaders.
Leadership must necessarily draw lessons from the past, but be very relevant to the current as well as for the future. Leaders should set the tone for people to be aware of future preparedness, even if it’s unpredictable.
And no matter what – Values-based behavior and personal conduct are expected to be above any criticism or doubt. For they should not change with historic perspective.
Once again, a periodic re-look at how the “Lady of the house” is managing may improve the perspective some more.
She doen’t even get called periodically to be given some medal and award to keep her motivational levels high.
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