21st Century Leadership Development Challenge

What appears to be an overnight sensation in leadership circles has been long in the making — the rise of the Disruptive Leader. If you conduct a Google Search for “Disruptive Leader”, over 44,600,000 results show up.

Upon further investigation, you will also find there are endless blog posts generously dispensing advice, counsel and opinions on what it takes to be successful and relevant in the digital age — ability to code, mine big data quickly, highly skilled with data analytics and visualization tools, proven track record of leading transformation and innovation with limited access to funding and talent — in addition to leading, coaching, mentoring, and teaching others how to adopt, adjust and adapt to the fact their jobs are being replaced with robots and/or offshore resources. 

Interesting dilemma for companies attempting to transform while searching for leaders with both the aptitude and attitude to lead through such dynamics.

There is a tendency to wait for “natural” leaders to emerge from the mysterious dark corners of the universe to work transformational miracles using — AI, Blockchain, Big Data — with very little time and even fewer resources dedicated to actually preparing these “high potential” trailblazers for key leadership positions before they are needed. 

Reality is — nothing can truly prepare someone for being a leader of anything or anyone, like real world “hands-on” life experience, with opportunities to learn through failure, experimentation, coaching, mentoring, and development. High performing producers / contributors don’t necessarily or automatically make good, much less, great leaders. Leadership isn’t for everyone, regardless of one’s technical, analytical or innovative prowess.

The present challenge for HR and leadership development professionals is how to help those who seek these highly coveted leadership positions to prepare for the impact of AI and automation on how they lead others in the new order of chaos and constant state of uncertainty. 

We invite you to join the conversation by responding to the following questions…

  • To whom do HR and leadership development professionals turn for advice, counsel and opinions, in the era of IoT 4.0, to develop both newly minted and seasoned leaders?
  • How do those in the human capital business get ready to learn, think and perform differently in the new normal of digital age recruiting to create a succession pipeline of talent?
  • We believe that successful leaders understand and model two key behaviors “Followership” and “Self-Control”, which potentially contradicts the dominant logic of the current 21st Century leadership unicorn — the Disruptive Leader. What do you think? 

For More Information about the Authors                    

Rhonda L. Frith-Lyons and Tom Fehlman

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