This is the eighth in a series of posts which articulate fundamental shifts in leadership paradigms from the 20th to the 21st century. Yesterday, I pointed out the swing from channels to choices. This movement has fueled one of the most profound and significant shifts that we will consider in this series.
Because choices were limited in the 20th Century, people were easier to control. Staying and obeying was more rewarding (or less threatening) than leaving or looking for alternatives. There were, of course, some exceptions, and we do have a host of adventurers to thank for the dramatic technological progress and development which happened in those hundred years. But, fear fueled nationalism, depression deepened desire for safety and security, and millions submitted their souls or their lives to regimented work or war. It was an age of enforcement and punishment, and commanding and controlling leaders got away with it.
But, by the 21st Century, an exponentially expanding world of insight and choice has fostered a sense of freedom and liberation from contextual limits. More and more people know that they have choices and are showing a metaphorical middle finger to those who try to control them. The so-called millennials have become the poster-children for the emerging generations who evade enforcement and must rather be enrolled and engaged. Leaders who relied on their power to control are floundering and scrambling to figure out how to regain their footing on a foundation which has probably been removed forever.
#AstuteLeaders understand people and know how to enrol them. They create a context in which people choose to engage.
Reflection question: As an Astute Leader, how can you more effectively enrol others into projects that matter?
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