Being a better leader Part 1
Someone once said in a thousand men, one is a leader of men and the rest follow women. Think about it. In the recent statistics, more than 54% of graduates don’t get employment on what they study. 7% have been looking for a job and are forever discouraged. 6% are underemployed. Their skills are of much higher qualification. More are working below their education. More than 40% of graduate employees are underpaid too!! The bad news is that, jobs are never coming back. Companies have learned to use less workforce or even contract workers or outsource workers overseas.
In the past, there were big animals but as time passed by, they have reduced in the number and the small animals like Lions are now the kings. In the past too there were just a few people controlling the market, few who were millionaires, few big companies controlling almost everything but that does not exist any longer. There were just few radio stations, market controllers but no longer. The economy is moving from industrious to networking economy. Worldwide wise, in 1900 century, there were only 5000 millionaires, in 1950 the number was 100,000, in 1980 it was 1,000,000 in 1990 it was 2,000,000 in 2000 it was 7,000,000 and in 2010 it was 10,000,000 and by 2020 it will be most likely way past 20,000,000 millionaires. The speed of change is accelerating. You either keep up or you are left.
There are four main accelerating changes.
Raymond Kurzwell while talking about the law of accelerating returns says that we wont experience 100 years of progress but 20,000 years of progress in the 21st century. Thats way too much progress. But indeed we see this happening. Just take an example of mobile phone evolution. Now its the use of holograms.. just touch the air and communicate.
Former CEO of google Eric Dchmidt once said all the information ever created in the human history up to 2003 is now created not in 5 years, not in 10 years not in 1 month, not in a week but in just a day!!! Think about that.
In the past companies used to compete internally. Now that does not really exist much. Companies or institutions compete globally. You even compete with an 18 year old in his bedroom.
Did you know that for once in the human history, 5 generations are all in the workforce at the same time? Did you know in the number of women working is rising so fast that in some countries like US, the number of women working is higher than the number of men working?
Looking at all these dynamic changes, what do you think is the one skill that is critical to get an opportunity? It is Leadership. 21st century leader.
What are the core skills and characters to master and vision of 21st century leader?
First you have to realize its no longer your daddy’s leadership. The past is gone, the analog leadership as its said. Its no longer about financial capital rather its human capital. How do you allocate and lead human capital? Its no longer about economic competence but rather emotional intelligence. its no longer about control but about collaboration. Its no longer about hierarchies but its now about networks. Its no longer about developing followers its now about developing leaders.
In the 21st century, a leader is no longer a boss or a manager. Whats the difference between a boss and a manager? Why do people hate a boss or a manager?
A boss tell what to do. Every one hates the boss,… right? Yeah sure. Everyone wants to run away from the boss. I remember when I once worked in some private organization how we all used to dislike the ‘boss’. A lazy guy always giving long lectures and killing your morale and giving way big tasks with no or little payment. A manager tries to incentivize you to do what they want you to do. They will give you a small gift or small pay. A LEADER MODELS THE BEHAVIOR TO BE DONE. I know a leader who is a good friend. He owns an IT farm in Nairobi. Here are some of his qualities.
1. He does the work. You rarely find him lazy around.
2. He is a motivator. He builds leaders.
3. He is friendly. Not the rigid weird, lazy, instructive boss.
4. Does not ask others to do what they have not done first. Thats why he is great. He leads by example.
A story is told of an army leader. He was having a meeting with the generals. He took a shoe thread and straightened it on the table. Then he said ” Look at this rope, if you push it from behind, it will double up, up on itself, shrink. Like this string you need to lead your armies from the front, just like pulling the end part of the rope moves the army forward. You need to be the first in the battle, that’s how you lead an army”.
4. He sets the pace. He is not the kind of a leader who says , hey go! but he says, hey lets go. Did you know people do not as fast as they can but as fast as their leader can? Indeed leaders sets the pace
5. He helps workers see themselves better than they are. Not like a boss who help people see themselves as they are.