We have a huge challenge on our hands, as leaders and as a society at large. Fortunately no challenge exists without equal or greater opportunity.
Two forces are at play. First, an economic, political and even social system that is failing or has already failed. All over the world our economic models – collectively speaking – are failing and simply do not seem to address our societal needs. On top of this our political systems, models and leaders have lost the faith and trust of its electorate for some time now.
Concurrent to these failed systems we have an internet age blossoming, connecting people, systems, information, finance and in fact everything across the globe. Because of this boom the masses are empowered with information at their fingertips and a voice through social media.
Something interesting happens when so much in the world seems to be on the path of failure, while there are empowered people that are supposed to be serviced by these unsuccessful systems and function inside it. Empowered people with a voice start to openly question and challenge the status quo and establishment, even find alternatives to replace it with something different that hopefully works better.
People can’t feel empowered while surrounded by failure. The two states cannot exist comfortably in the same space.
In leadership though, anything that’s failing demands a lot of attention and energy – it just sucks you in; absorbs your time; and requires all your faculties. So leaders are currently distracted with making the old work while the new emerges so fast that they are caught off guard. Even the new needs leadership, but because most leaders are so pre-occupied with crises-managing the crumbling old they are missing the greatest opportunities of our modern times – leveraging, enhancing the new!
We should all ask this question, especially leaders: Where is my focus? Am I fixated on the old or do I have a way of ensuring a needed amount of energy is spent on embracing and leading the new?
For more on what we do to empower individual leaders, teams and organisations – read here
Adriaan Groenewald is a leadership expert and commentator. Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Adriaan on firstname.lastname@example.org for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation. Follow him on Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP or @LeadershipPform.