Where Leaders Come to Think

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21st Century Leader


After reviewing my copy of the Wall Street Journal I sit – amazed at the many organizational changes taking place. Companies have begun to consolidate at a fast pace and even banks, whom, at one point, were considered untouchable have had to make their peace with a new business partner – the United States Government.

Change is necessary for a companies life cycle, but it also requires a different more directed form of leadership. Looking around I’m noticing some significant differences in those who are successful in the 21st Century and those whose leadership style, all be it well intended, are falling short of market place prominence.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs

21st century organizational leaders are offering something different. Have you noticed any differences?

In the past we were challenged to have goals, life balance and systems requiring the ability to multi-task at a high level. Business continues to move at a fast pace, but something shifted. Organizational leaders, today, are finding the greatest levels of success requires a new more intentional focus. A concentrated effort on a particular objective.

Multitaskers seem to be spending their time texting – while driving – and not doing either very well! Successful organizational leaders in the 21 century, like Steve Jobs, simplified and innovated while owning a clear and simple view of where their focus should be.

To sharpen one’s focus, it requires us to do less, not more.

I continue to be drawn to clarity and simplicity. ‘Less is more’ remains my mantra.  – Stephane Rolland

If my personal, organizational leadership were on trial I would be guilty of, ‘more is better’ mentality. Perhaps it was the iconic Gordon Gekko images of Wall Street fame that seeded this idea into my head.

Early in my business career I was driven by volume. The more projects I could handle and tasks I could complete – the better my chances at promotion. Looking back at elements of my career, I can see that, in several cases, this mentality led me down a path of average. As Jim Collins would say, “good not great.”

21st Century leadership requires focus. To become a focused individual requires us to unplug from the multi-tasking matrix and decide what we are really primarily about. Operating with a new clarity will actually allow us to finish what we start with excellence. The one key attribute a leader must understand in the 21st Century is a single-minded purpose worth living for.

What’s yours?


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