The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Challenges of modern leadership

Since leadership has become a subject of study, it has also become something to learn and to become better at.

It has become a growing field of interest, a market, and meanwhile a multitude of markets. The number of areas modern leaders must become better at has become overwhelming. Not to forget the options they need to choose from to determine the path that is adequate for their work and organization.

Browsing through some of the subjects it seems that what may be at stake for the leader is his status and reputation more than the organization’s success. The organization’s perspective is slightly different here; however, it too must manage its reputation.

What has become much more important than it was in the past are for example communication, empathy, inclusion, or resilience. In contrast to that, business objectives seem to have fallen back in the general interest. It seems to be true for long-term as well as short-term objectives.

A detail that may need to be added here: what is being said may not always be what is happening. It is difficult to know if the tendency is the result of a need that was well served by such approaches or of a problem people have learned to perceive to the extent that it is being requested.

In a recent article, Morgan Housel reflected on the difference between independent and frugal. The context he addressed was wealth, which is what people have who spend less than they earn. To be able to do so requires that people decide between being frugal and independent. If they are frugal, they find ways to want less than they can buy. If they are independent, they choose what they want and buy it within the limits of their budget.

As Housel describes it for Chuck Feeney: “Society told him he should want those things. But it wasn’t what actually made him happy.” When Feeney realized this, he changed his lifestyle and spending habits while letting go of what society was telling him was the right thing to do. Which also meant for him to change the way he needed his status to be seen.

When leaders find a way to lead in their own way while taking care of their well-being, they might have solved the biggest challenge they are confronted with.



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