New Age Leadership – in Education

Organizations and people have the tendency to look outside of themselves for leadership. You should look inside yourselves to see how you can be the leader you want and need to be in the New Age.

Leadership is often thought in the terms of hierarchy, with leaders being at the top and followers at the bottom.
While it looks good on the organizational chart, a formal position up the hierarchy does not necessarily mean that you are a “leader”, and moreover a good one.

It is not surprising when people complain about horrible leaders because these are the ones who probably are so proud of their title and position, that they ignore the basic facts of how to lead a team.

Leadership used to be about telling people what to do. You saw the manager as “hero.”

  • solve problems
  • technical expertise
  • know-how
  • keep the ship running in tiptop shape

I find that the power has shifted in the New Age, from the people who sell, to the people who buy.

Today’s business leader needs to be,

  • a master juggler,
  • a compassionate listener
  • savvy and intuitive
  • sharp as a tack in business matters
  • able to mobilize HUMAN energy
  • align it and direct it towards a single goal – creating more value for the customer

This, in turn creates a more profitable company.

Creative thinker – Einstein said, “The world we have created is a product of our way of thinking” Nothing will change in the future without fundamentally new ways of thinking.

Change your thinking and thinking patterns. Majority of the population thinks reactively (80%). They take action to make something go away (usually a problem.)

Reactive thinkers ask, “What’s wrong?” or “Who’s to blame?” Reactive thinkers live in reaction and response to circumstances.

The other 20% are creative thinkers – they take action to make something come into being (the creation.)

Creative thinkers thrive on the question “What’s Possible?”

Creative thinkers go beyond circumstances.

Change readiness

  • Embrace change
  • Understand the process of change and how it affects most people
  • Be skilled at enrolling people in it with a minimum amount of fear

Most people do resist change – that’s because it forces us right out of our comfort zones.

  • Move people out of their comfort zones with dignity and respect
  • Help people share a “common understanding” of the past and why they need to change it
  • Provide them with a positive image of their future along with actions they can all agree will move them in the right direction

Landscape Architect

The architect leader knows that the ability to create a nourishing and challenging environment for people to grow in is more important than any technical skill she/he can possess.

Build a living environment- called culture. Culture is the soul of the enterprise. Today’s leader is a master “culture-crafter.” She /he sculpts and crafts an environment that stimulates, excites and invites people to be the best they can be.

Continuous Improvement

The leader of tomorrow will regularly challenge old beliefs and be passionate about learning and about applying that learning in the real world. She/he will often ask: “Who is doing something differently than I am and what can I learn from them?”

Authentic – don’t talk the talk unless you are prepared to walk the walk (highest standards)

How and who you are just as important as what you know!

Don’t expect of others what you don’t expect from yourself.

  • Be real
  • Tell the truth
  • Be honest, forthright and clear

Not keeping your word

Do things that you said you will do it. If you can’t do it, inform your team well in advance. When you keep your word (assurance, promise, commitment), your team then know that you can be trusted. You’re reliable.

Playing favourites

Be fair to everyone in the team. Treat them all with fairness, keeping aside your prejudice (for some). That builds trust in you.


  • Be a coach not a commander
  • Hold space open for things to happen – It is said that when leaders do their job properly people believe they have done it themselves.
  • Help people see things from a different perspective
  • Provide questions that encourage learning – Help turn work experiences into learning experiences

A Visionary

It’s clearly documented that visionary leaders are successful at mobilizing human potential.
A vision provides focus, a tool for aligning energy. Clear vision and purpose provide people with a framework from which to make decisions.

It organizes action and effort.

Clearly a need for a new leadership style exists. Take a good look at your style and see if you are prepared for living and leading in the 21st century.

Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise

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