Engaging Leadership in the 21st Century

Our world, in the twenty first century, requires Engaging Leadership, a recalibration away from a concentration on the transactional component of leadership.  The models and metaphors of leadership in the twentieth century misunderstood and underestimated two principles of human behavior:

  • People are intrinsically motivated.
  • People are innately creative.

This misunderstanding resulted in an incomplete approach to leadership and an exaggeration of the transactional component of leadership and a neglect of the transformational component of leadership.  Leaders inspire people; people motivate themselves.  To explore the differences between transactional leadership and Engaging Leadership, please click here.

Many personal and professional development programs emphasize the science of leadership but the human aspect of leadership-the ability to create and sustain meaningful connections with an audience-is what really provides the foundation for Engaging Leadership. 

According to Kevin D. Asbjörnson, MIM, Founder & Principal Performing Artist of Inspire! Imagine! Innovate! “Performing artists inspire their audiences by provoking thought and evoking emotion; we seek to recognize and awaken the heart and soul of our audience. Transformational leaders and performing artists face very similar challenges and expectations.  They have a great deal in common and a great deal to learn from each other.”  To read Kevin’s article “Making the Connection Between Art and Leadership”, please click here.

To preview a video on the interaction of personality, leadership engagement and performance, please visit YouTube.

Inspirational or transformational leaders encourage their people to reclaim their creative confidence, which reinforces creative thinking in the workplace, community and society. According to Tom Kelley and David Kelly of the international design and consulting firm IDEO (www.ideo.com ), "Creative thinking in business begins with having empathy for your customers, internal or external and you cant's get that sitting behind a desk."

To read the HBR article Reclaim Your Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly and David Kelley, please click here.

To watch transformational or inspirational leadership in action, from the perspective of a performing artist, please click here.

According to the Hewitt and Associates and RBL Group research on Top Companies for Leaders, “What an effective leader needs to do today is vastly different than in the past.  Leadership is part of the organizational fabric at the Top Companies for Leaders. You can sense it the moment you walk through the door. There’s a genuine belief that the way to propel the business forward is through investment in leaders—current as well as future leaders. Developing talent and future leaders is a way of operating; it is intertwined with running the business. It is not simply an action item on a ‘To Do’ list. This is true for Top Companies everywhere, whether it be New York, Shanghai, or Wiesbaden.”

To preview the entire research on Top Companies for Leaders, please click here. To watch Engaging Leadership in action, from the perspective of a performing artist, please click here.