This is the third in a series of posts which articulate fundamental shifts in leadership paradigms from the 20th to the 21st century.
20th Century organisations were built on hierarchical structures with power and superiority vested at the top of the structure. In addition, power tended to be aligned with superficial characteristics such as race, social class or gender. Human rights activists became increasingly vocal, coherent and effective throughout the last Century, but there is still a very long way to go in many sectors of society.
In a population which increasingly questions and challenges these power dynamics, 21st Century leading must reflect parity and egalitarian inclusion. Leaders will need to see others as their equals, co-create a level playing field and invite a blend of all voices. The most effective leaders will not only interact with parity, but will actively challenge and dismantle inequality. The next few decades will see the most relevant individuals fostering awareness and rejection of discriminatory and demeaning practices.
Astute 21st Century Leaders gain deep insight into power dynamics and the use of power for good. They are extremely cognizant and appreciative of the constructive potential and power within others and seek to unleash power to tackle important problems. They exert power positively to empower and not disempower others. They do not use power to manipulate, intimidate or exploit others, but are committed to ensuring that all rise together.
Reflection question: As an Astute Leader, how can you use power for good whilst promoting parity?
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