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Are you a 21st-century leader?

Liz DeCarlo

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Set the pace as a leader and your employees will follow.
Everything you know about leadership today is wrong, said Darren Hardy, publisher and editorial director of Success magazine. “Leaders today are still following a very patriarchal, controlled leadership model. But the 21st century isn’t your daddy’s leadership. A shift has happened.”

Three things have caused the shift in successful leadership: technology’s rapid growth, the global environment we operate in, and the demographics that will soon result in five generations working together in the marketplace, Hardy said.

Millennials are the largest group to enter the workforce ever, he said. “By 2020, they’ll be the majority of leadership. You’ll be sidelined if you don’t adapt.”

The number of women in the workforce is also climbing, and Hardy predicts the 21st century will be the century for women. The 20th century was patriarchal. But the 21st century will be about emotional intelligence, which women generally have more of than men, he said.

Undoing 20th century leadership
A boss or manager prods from behind when working with staff. A leader pulls from upfront, Hardy said. “To lead, you only need to say, ‘Follow me.’ Make your action your instructions. Leaders set the pace.”

People mimic and match the leader. “You’re always onstage,” Hardy said. “People will mimic your behavior and work ethic. The speed of the leader will determine the speed of the pack. People will only go as fast as the leader.”

The leader has to be the most:
  • Disciplined
  • Consistent
  • Positive
  • Authentic
  • Service-oriented
  • Personally developed

“Ask yourself if you’re showing up and demonstrating these,” Hardy said.” It’s easy to be a boss or manager; it takes real skill and character to be a leader.”


20th: Economic competence
21st: Emotional intelligence

20th: Financial capital was most important asset.
21st: The No. 1 asset is human capacity — who can field the best team.

20th: Role was to control and have followers.
21st: Role is to stimulate growth. How fast can I grow other leaders?


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