I believe that we are facing very uncertain times. The world is currently experiencing a myriad of social, political and economic challenges. As I work with leaders around the world, I see the desperate need for important changes in how we look at leadership in this century. The reality is that we cannot continue on the same trajectory and this era demands transformation. The very foundation of leadership has been shaken globally and now more than ever before we must begin to repair the foundation for generations to come. This is an hour of great urgency in the world. That is why I am so excited about my new book Chosen: Strategies for Revolutionary Leadership. It’s my sixth book and it will be released on May 16, 2017. This month I thought I would share a few insights about how we can shift leadership in the twenty-first century.
- We must identify that we have a problem in leadership. What I want you to understand is that we do not have an absence of leaders. The challenge we have is a lack of authenticity in leadership. Unfortunately, we have made leadership all about titles and positions. However, the integrity and principles of leadership have been discounted. It does not matter how talented and charismatic you are if you do not have character. Character is the currency of effective leadership. Character is less about what you say and more about how you live. If we do not address this problem soon we will see a total collapse of leadership in this century. Rewarding performance over principles will only produce unstable and unsustainable leadership in this era.
- We must have the courage to repair the foundation. One of the things that disturbs me in the world today is the lack of concern over the corruption in leadership today. When you have leaders leading without convictions, the result is corruption and corrosion in leadership. It is very important that courageous leaders step up to the plate and repair the foundations of leadership. We are producing a generation of deceived and dysfunctional leaders that are decaying the foundations of leadership globally. What we fail to repair we are prone to repeat. Honestly, we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes that have been made in leadership. If we do not repair the foundation it will be a decision we will regret forever. Much of the scandal and moral decline we see in the world today is the product of rewarding bad behavior. When leaders are not held accountable for their actions you produce mayhem. I’ve decided to be part of the solution and not the problem. I’m working diligently with leaders around the world to repair the cracks in the foundation of leadership. Theories and principles are not enough. This era will demand transformation and new pillars that redefine how we lead.
- Leadership must be redefined in this era. The world is experiencing challenges and pressures on every front. In my work, I have the privilege of developing leaders around the world. What I have learned is that the challenges are the same globally. We have very intelligent and creative leaders rising up. However, I see a lack of heart-centered leadership in the world today. One of the reasons I wrote my new book was to address this issue of leading with the heart. For years we have seen leaders leading only with the head. While I am not suggesting that leaders should not lead with the head, one of the things I have noticed is that it takes the head and the heart to reach your highest potential as a leader. Intellect without intimacy will produce an apathetic and ruthless culture within an organization. This unhealthy culture promotes division and competition over teamwork and shared vision. We must be leaders that do not sacrifice principles for profits. We must be conscious, connected and compassionate in our leadership. After all, the purity of your heart will determine how much power you are handed.
- Leaders need to dialogue about how to transform leadership. As my new book launches in a few weeks, I am super excited about the opportunity to connect and dialogue with leaders around the world. Much of the collapse in leadership is the result of the lack of communication. It is time for leaders to put their differences aside and sit down and have real conversations. We must be sure that these conversations do not just focus on what is right with leadership. It is equally important to dialogue about what is wrong and how we can fix it. You will never improve what you ignore. I believe dialogue opens the door to solutions. With that said, we must be willing to get real, ask tough questions and have transparent conversations if we want to see transformation in leadership. Unless we deal with the core of leadership everything we build will be corrupted.