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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Leadership : Context & Future

Fastcompany has a very interesting perspective on leadership and the challenges faced in the emerging future. The article starts by defining leadership as a fuse of vision and integrity, perseverance and courage, a hunger for innovation, and a willingness to take risks and goes on to cover Anthony J. Mayo and Nitin Nohria's perspective :The duo unearths an immutable attribute that's shared by all of the giants of business: They had an innate ability to read the forces that shaped the times in which they lived - and to seize on the resulting opportunities – naming it aptly as “Contextual Intelligence”. They have also come up with a ranking of the top 100 business leaders of all time.

They find that contextual intelligence is an underappreciated but all-encompassing differentiator between success and failure. Seeing how context creates different kinds of business opportunities, the authors categorized their business legends by the different types of opportunities they pursued. Nohria identified three prototypical leadership types - the entrepreneurial leader, the leader as manager, and the charismatic leader - and showed how each used their contextual intelligence to thrive in their times. I was curious to see what type of context setting lay in store for potential future leaders : The context is summed up very well:
In the next 25 years, demography, technology, government regulations, geopolitics, labor conditions, and social mores will powerfully influence the opportunities available. Government is playing a bigger role than it used to & are witnessing shift in geopolitics. In terms of technology, breakthrough innovations in IT and pharmaceutical development may have run their course. We think of these as growth industries, but they might well be maturing. In demographics, what will happen as retiring baby boomers start withdrawing their money from the market? And then there are the dramatic changes in Asia. Just as Japan created lean manufacturing, is there a new management innovation that's coming from India or China, but hasn't yet been given a name? In each of these dimensions, there are very important changes afoot. They will coalesce and create opportunities for entrepreneurial leaders to launch new businesses, for managers to maximize the value of existing businesses, and for leaders of change to rescue businesses that have fallen into decline. The one thing that we know for certain is that context is vitally important; it will shape the opportunities in these new times.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"