Leadership is about Change
I recently read an article criticizing a University chancellor for spending too much money on first class flights, Ritz Carleton hotel rooms, among other things. These political boners happen all the time, sometimes with consequences, but often without. In this particular case it didn't seem that the chancellor was trying to dupe the University and squeeze them for a good time. It seems that he really thought that's how people in those positions behave. Although I believe civil servants (and if you work for a University in Canada you are pretty much a civil servant) should never go first class I believe he is sincere in his belief; this is what 'important' people do.
This is where we see a shift happening in leadership. Today, a political figure who lives high on the taxpayer shows little leadership. A business leader who slashes jobs and spending but receives million dollar payouts shows little leadership. But go back only 10 years and these things were normal. Go back 20 or more years and this was admired. Your title meant more than your actions. But not anymore. The world is becoming transparent and leading with control, manipulations, and lies is quickly fading.
A quality of a strong leader is the ability to implement and lead change. But what if it is you (the leader) that requires the change? Many people in current leadership positions face this problem and like the people they have lead before through change, they (maybe I should say we ???) require help through this change...the change to modern leadership thinking.
In an earlier blog Tactics Never Produce Leaders I outlined some contemporary qualities of leaders so I won't discuss them in this blog. We are seeing many technological and social changes which require us all to be aware of what they mean. Leadership is of particular interest to me so I have focused on the sea change in acceptable and effective leadership practices and the need for more people to participate in leading. Leadership qualities will evolve and change like everything else does through the passing of time so lets just be aware that sometimes the change we need to lead through includes changing ourselves.