10 Principles of Twenty-First Century Leadership

Jun 28, 2021 4 min read
10 Principles of Twenty-First Century Leadership

The leadership challenge is changing, so leaders must allow their thoughts to evolve. Here are 10 provocations to nudge your thinking into some new places.

This month, Adam Cairns the CEO of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Honorary Visiting Professor, Cardiff University Medical School, Cardiff, UK talks about the leadership challenges we face in the 21st century.

The Leadership Challenge

The leadership challenge is changing, and so leaders must allow their thoughts to evolve.

Here are ten provocations to nudge your thinking into some new places.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Optimism not pessimism

Our mindset governs how we see the world. As the pace of change accelerates, ask yourself whether your instinctive, below the waterline response to this is to worry that you’re going to get left behind. Relentless change can cause the best of us to question whether we will be able to keep up.

However, rather than worry, take hold of the momentum which change brings. None of us can predict the future, but it will be fun finding out!

Receive and send

In the new reality of digital everything, we can engage anyone and everyone in a conversation on our terms. The exchange of information, views, and ideas now happens instantaneously, whether we like it or not.

By the time a service short-coming has impacted on a user of your services, the chances are the world is already hearing about it. Engage your audience, whether user, customer, patient or public and expect this to tell you more than you ever knew.

Questions Not Answers

Leaders should start asking some new questions. Instead of asking how to drive increased efficiency, choose to ask what great would look like. Great isn’t usually more of the same, just faster. Great starts from a different place. It starts with an open, not closed mindset. Henry Ford’s original customers said what they wanted was a faster horse. Ford had the genius to ask how that was possible.

Insourcing not outsourcing

There are niches for every conceivable service or product. Today, you can buy a new logo design for £5 or appoint a virtual assistant for as little as £10 a job.

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