As someone that has the pleasure of developing and training leaders around the world, I have been noticing a disheartening trend for a number of years now. I have seen leaders, organizations and nations rocked with scandal and deception. I have seen some of the greatest breakdowns in leadership history. I have been watching and observing carefully. However, I believe that it is time to speak up about the perils and pressures of twenty-first century leadership. I just released a new book that covers the challenges of leadership in our time. Most importantly, this book delves into the cures for solving the leadership crisis of our world. It is time to be frank about what is really going on in leadership. We've spent enough years being silent but now it is time to get to the root of the systemic problems that continue to plague leadership globally.This concerns me greatly and it is time to have a conversation. Leadership has hit a tipping point globally and how we respond will determine the future of leadership.A call has been issued to twenty-first century leadership; however, the call must be coupled with commitment if we want to see change.
1. We have too many leaders in position that are hemorrhaging. You cannot effectively lead and reach your highest potential when you are not healed. So many leaders today are emotionally and psychologically unbalanced and it impacts their ability to make sound decisions. In a time where we are facing a myriad of social, economic and political challenges only sound leaders can effectively make the right decisions. Deep wounds that we refuse to allow time to heal will destroy the work and legacy that we desire to create.Now is the time to stop bleeding and start building sustainable change. The pain of leadership is often the greatest enemy to the progress of leadership.
2. We need humility to return to leadership. As I said before, I have had the pleasure of developing and speaking with leaders all over the world. I am amazed at the level of pride and arrogance in leadership. It is a terrible thing to be deceived. A leader is not great because they know how to command a stage with their presence. A leader is great when they are consistent in their principles. Our conduct and our compassion are the characteristics that will conserve our leadership. Just because a person is talented does not give them the right to be disrespectful, disparaging and degrading. Humility is a powerful force that will unleash your greatest potential. Also, when you lead without humility you open yourself up for greater scrutiny. This condescending attitude will produce condemnation the moment you make an error.
3. We need to get back to heart-centered leadership. This year I am on a quest to restore the heart to leadership. We have very competent leaders but we do not have compassionate leaders. We must infuse the heart back into our leadership if we want to impact humanity in a powerful way. I have no problem with a leader pursuing knowledge and continually improving. However, I do have a problem when we rely on our heads and never consult our hearts. When I consult with leaders I often tell them to get our of their heads and go into their hearts. In your heart of hearts you know what decision needs to be made. In the deepest part of us we have the cures and concepts that we need to produce change. It is not that we do not know what to do. We have lost contact with the heart. Data can give us statistics but you have to go deeper to get to real solutions. I believe that my leadership has been successful because I have not disconnected the heart. I believe that the heart is the center of our being. When we lead from our hearts we cannot be hindered.
4. We must take responsibility. While I have offered some important solutions for leadership, I think it is very important to turn our attention to the issue of responsibility. We are facing the greatest leadership challenge of any generation. We are seeing a complete breakdown in leadership. Leadership is in crisis and the foundation of leadership is corroding globally. I have never seen so much moral decline and ethical decay. Authenticity has been removed from leadership. Ultimately, we have leaders with high rank that refuse to take responsibility. The reality is that we have leaders that use positions of power for personal ambitions and pursuits. Many leaders make unethical decisions and show no remorse. I see so many leaders with no values trying to give vision. The problem of trying to lead without values is that they leave a vile odor. These leaders are quick to compromise and they sacrifice the future for personal fulfillment. As a leader, you are held to a higher standard and you are responsible for the decisions that you make. Responsibility must be put back on leadership. In addition, organizations must have a vested interest in ensuring that the standards of the organization are sustained. This is a critical hour for leadership. I believe that if we work together we can see radical change. Remember that it starts with YOU! We must answer the call and become agents of change as leadership is shifting globally