What Makes For A Great Leader Today?

August 19, 2022

What makes for a great leader in today's environment is different from the past.  If you look at sculptures of great leaders all over the world they sit on a horse pointing a finger to the future. The perception was that the leader is somebody who leads and points in the direction that the organization of the country should take. That was in the past.  Does not apply today because the world is far too complicated today. 

In the past, the leader could have been a very smart, charismatic person that people would follow. That's why one of the synonyms for a leader is “superior” and the people that work for the superior are subordinates. Sub-ordinary. It was an elitist view of leadership. 

Today we need a complementary team of different people working together. And the leader is a person that unites them. A leader is not a pointing finger, it is a thumb that makes out of the four fingers a hand.  

We need a leader that can integrate different styles, different approaches, different views, to learn from each other and create a synergy that produces results that are much better than any single individual can deliver.  And how do you do that? How do you become a thumb rather than a pointing figure?  By creating a learning environment.  Creating an environment where there is mutual trust and respect because where there is mutual trust and respect, we learn from each other and we create, we make better decisions and implement them much more efficiently than any individual can in today's complicated environment. So what is it that makes a good leader? Can you command and grant respect and trust? Are you trustworthy? Are you respected by the people you work with? That is what makes a good leader today. 

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes