Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to be on over 100 stages in a conversation with thousands of people on the subject of leadership and life. Subsequent to these talks have been follow up sessions with leaders (both formal and informal) wanting to learn more, explore deeper and in some cases just to re-connect around the message and their place in it. What is most interesting and inspiring is the fact that no matter where the audience was from, be it Europe, Africa, Russia, the Middle East, Asia, or North America, the leaders were passionately seeking ways to improve their leadership in the fast changing world of work; and the employees were passionately seeking great leaders.
For me personally, all the conversations represented windows into the heads and hearts of the global workforce from the c-suite to individual contributors. And in a year when the news was anything but inspiring about leaders, leadership, associate engagement, and organizational health, I find myself incredibly hopeful and optimistic about the future and what it holds for all organizations and the associates who give their lives to them.
So I’d like to keep this short and not add any models, tools, characteristics or best practices. While those are always helpful and inspiring, I’d like for this message to be something different. I’d like for it to be a message of hope for a bright future. A future where people everywhere are impacted by leaders leading at a higher level. A future where the full richness of individual and organizational potential is cultivated and companies are having a positive, lasting impact that is meaningful in human terms.
From where I’ve stood over the last 12 months the world is clearly ready. And for those us who choose to lead, our time is now.