5 Leadership Traits of the Future
Authenticity sort of sits at the intersection of radical transparency and media-as-an-amplifier. You need to be authentic and open before you have to be. It’s not as if it’s optional or variable in today’s world. A leader just needs to start from that as a grounding principle. And 24-7 implies a proactive quality. Not just responsively authentic, but leaning in, pushing your comfort zone on authenticity.
Given that the total breadth and depth of challenges future leaders need to grapple with in the decade ahead are greater than we’ve faced, at least in the past seventy-five years , a capacity for complexity is an absolute need in any serious organization. Especially in a post-COVID world. The capacity means you not only have to be able to take in the many variables at play, but interpret, process, and make sense of them, and ultimately communicate effectively. This trait is very much about using both sides of your brain.
Whatever the social or economic or health disparities at hand, it is going to require a range of people and perspectives and philosophies. The ability to be the leader that, as Rosanne Haggerty said, creates a commitment to unity and looks for what you can commonly share while respecting each other’s differences is pivotal. The mindset to leave room for multiple identities at just about all costs is paramount. And remember that a Generosity Mindset needs to be able to process complexity in order to know where and how opportunities arise that can be leveraged and sustained.
Think constant learning and improvement. Instead of data being an afterthought to understand social or community impact at a point in time, it’s more powerful to develop a relentless focus on understanding the real-world, real-time, ongoing impact of programs, practices, and policies. And ensure that the data being used is the right, not just readily available, data. It can then inform persistent, day-to-day improvement in companies and communities.
When the lines between and the historical norms of our private, nonprofit, and public sectors are intersecting and overlapping as never before, Cross-Sector Fluency becomes a must-have, not a nice-to-have. I don’t mean sort of hopping into a project in another sector and then going back into your longtime professional sector silo for most of your career. I mean genuine immersion in the other two sectors or at least one of the other two sectors.