Much has been written about leadership. Even more money has been spent over the past few decades on executive education trying to develop better leaders. Yet today it feels far from certain that much has been achieved. Questions might then be reasonably asked about our conceptions of leadership, and where we have been going wrong.
Society is changing. Climate breakdown, economic stagnation, political unrest,
technological upheaval and changing societal expectations are placing complex demands on organisations and their leaders.
To deal with these changes and challenges will need better leadership from many more of us, at all levels of seniority and all types of organisations.
But this will require us to get out of our bubbles. Most of us have good intentions. Yet our organisations tend by nature to be insular. We often spend careers largely within the same industry and inhabiting senior roles that further separate us from the lived experience of our people and the realities of the wider world.
If we are to step up as leaders, we need to increase the likelihood of encountering pertinent, provocative information from different sources. We need to change the conditions in which we habitually find ourselves. We need to broaden and expose ourselves to new people, different perspectives and uncomfortable situations. In doing so we create the possibility of being confronted by truth that we didn’t even know to ask about.
This journal has brought together an eclectic group of people to explore some of the challenges, contradictions and opportunities for individuals who want to lead better. Every one of us reading it has the power to spend our time working in ways that enhance human dignity and help restore a healthy planet for all. My hope is these articles have offered you some useful and different questions to consider as you move forward.