The Leader’s Most Important Task
One of the most important leadership responsibilities (and skills) is to be able to understand the broader context and interpret what this means for his or her business / industry.
Leaders are leading in a time of acute global challenges: inter-locking economies and dependencies, xenophobia and religious intolerance, massive environmental concerns, cybercrime, mass migration and those profiteering from such, arms and drug dealers, terrorism and extremism that stops at nothing to ‘win their war’ and make their point, and local and regional wars that pose an on-going threat to global peace and stability.
There are dead-ends everywhere and none of these challenges are simple or easily solvable. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev suggests that the failure to build on East-West goodwill in the recent past has left a globalised world racked by political and moral challenges. It is certainly that and more.
Learning how to live in this global context is difficult and finding solutions, any solutions, is complex. Certainly many of the aforementioned issues cannot be solved military and the only solution would seem to be a coming together of politics and morality. Thankfully there are many who work tirelessly towards such ends.
Corporate leaders, with this as the ever-present backdrop have an important role and responsibility in all this. This ‘new’ reality brought about through globalization, requires that leaders understand this context and interpret it correctly in order to help bring about the new rules of conduct, a new morality.
This is no easy task. In any business where all of this ‘globalisation’ somehow comes together, that task becomes even more of a leadership imperative.
We believe that this partially explains the universal success of TomorrowToday’s ‘TIDES of Change’ framework for understanding the key disruptive forces that are driving much of the change afoot. At one level it is a simple framework that helps leaders and organisations ‘look out the window’ – at ‘where to look’ without telling you ‘what to see’. Doing this work is essential. It is a core leadership responsibility in today’s context. Looking out the window is essential if one is to ‘understand’ and ‘interpret’ what is happening for those within a leader’s influence. As a leader, you need to ensure that your team is ‘futurefit’. In this regard, ‘looking out the window’ is merely the first step, in the process of becoming futurefit.
Without understanding and interpreting the global context it is impossible to respond appropriately to the consequences of the current disruption and challenges.
Shedding light on the road ahead – this is the leader’s work.