Carol Pearson worked with the top minds in leadership research to edit and create the edited collection, The Transforming Leader. Here she lists the Five Most Important Things Leaders Should Keep in Mind When Addressing the Roles and Responsibilities of Leaders in the Future:
1. Have a strong, positive intent but let go of the illusion of control.
The pace of modern life and the reality of interdependence make it increasingly unrealistic to think we can predict the future or accomplish linear goals and objectives. However, if we are not clear about our intent, we can simply be tossed to and fro by changing circumstances. Effective leaders today must recognize that moving toward their goals will be more like an adventure than a controlled project.
2. Always stop and take stock of both yourself and the groups you lead.
Effective leaders today practice mindfulness to know themselves better. Similarly, they must take time to understand the social network within their organizations, identifying opinion shapers and current direction of thinking and trends. They also recognize that while they are influencing their group— the group is also influencing them, resulting in both negative and positive tendencies within the system that should not be ignored.
3. Find a way to harvest intelligence wherever you find it in yourself.
Because our unconscious minds track and process more information than is available to our conscious minds, effective leaders facing unpredictable situations today find ways to access and evaluate intuitive guidance from the unconscious, paying attention to their hunches, gut feelings, dreams, and/or images that suddenly arise into consciousness..
4. See greater possibilities by getting rid of projections and appreciating the dual nature of things.
Effective leaders today must develop the capacity to help themselves and the groups they lead to question and even potentially withdraw projections in order to move beyond limiting dualistic patterns of thinking such as right/wrong, good/bad, inferior/superior. In doing so, such leaders foster greater empathy for other people and groups, and gain an enhanced understanding of why they think and feel as they do.
5. Demonstrate the narrative intelligence to choose the stories you tell and live.
Most people interpret the experiences they have through the lenses of certain familiar story lines, thereby confusing their stories with reality. Many leaders who have been very successful in the past, are stymied, not only because they’re inadequate to what is required today but also because they are oblivious to the fact that their stories are not reality. But effective leaders today must notice what stories they are telling and living and how and if they are relevant and have impact to the groups and people around them.