Leadership: Yesterday, Today and the Future (5)



Habits of Highly Productive Transformation Leaders
Prof. Lere Baale


The growing importance of grit to leadership success

Grit is a concept that has gained widespread recognition in recent years as a critical predictor of success in a range of domains. In the context of leadership, grit is an essential attribute for those who aspire to achieve their goals and positively impact their organisations and communities. In this piece, we will explore the importance of grit to leadership success.


Grit is a multifaceted concept, encompassing several vital attributes: perseverance, passion, resilience, and a growth mindset. Leaders with these attributes are better equipped to navigate challenges and obstacles. They are more likely to persist in the face of setbacks, remain committed to their goals, and bounce back from adversity.


Perseverance is a critical component of grit, as it involves the ability to persist in facing challenges and setbacks. Leaders with this attribute are likelier to stay focused on their goals, even in adversity. They can maintain their motivation and drive and keep moving forward even when the path is complex or uncertain.


Passion is another critical component of grit, as it involves a deep sense of purpose and meaning in one’s work. Leaders who are passionate about what they do are more likely to be resilient and to stay committed to their goals, even in the face of setbacks. They can maintain their energy and enthusiasm and inspire and motivate others to do the same.

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Resilience is also an essential aspect of grit, as it involves the ability to bounce back from adversity and adapt to changing circumstances. Leaders with this attribute are better equipped to navigate leadership’s ups and downs and learn from their experiences. They can stay focused on their goals and remain optimistic, even facing challenges.


Also, a growth mindset is an essential attribute of grit, as it involves a belief that one’s abilities and skills can be developed through effort and persistence. Leaders who possess this attribute are more likely to embrace challenges and view failure as an opportunity for growth and learning. They can continuously improve their skills and develop new strategies for success.


In conclusion, the importance of grit to leadership success cannot be overstated. Leaders who possess this attribute are better equipped to navigate the challenges and obstacles they encounter and remain committed to their goals and vision. Leaders can build the GRIT essential for success in their work and lives by cultivating perseverance, passion, resilience, and a growth mindset.


The future of leadership

The future of leadership is an ever-evolving concept, shaped by social, political, and economic changes, as well as technological advancements and shifts in cultural values. One of the most significant shifts in leadership we are seeing is moving away from top-down, hierarchical leadership models towards more collaborative and decentralised approaches.

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As organisations become more complex and diverse, leaders recognise the importance of building trust, fostering open communication, and empowering their teams to take more ownership and responsibility for their work. This requires shifting from traditional command and control leadership styles towards more facilitative, coaching-oriented leadership.


Another trend likely to shape the future of leadership is the increasing importance of emotional intelligence (EI) and mindfulness. As the pace of change and complexity of work continue to increase, leaders who can remain calm, centred, and aware of their own emotions and those of their team members will be better equipped to navigate uncertainty and manage conflict more effectively. This requires deeper self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to develop strong relationships, based on trust and respect.

Technology is also likely to play an increasingly important role in the future of leadership. With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, leaders will need to harness the power of technology to streamline operations, reduce costs, and drive innovation. This requires a strong understanding of emerging technologies and the ability to balance the potential benefits of technology with the potential risks and unintended consequences.

Leadership: Yesterday, Today and the Future (2)

In addition, diversity and inclusion will continue to be critical focuses for future leaders. As society becomes more diverse, leaders who can create inclusive and equitable workplaces that celebrate differences and foster a sense of belonging will be better equipped to attract and retain top talent. This requires a commitment to continuous learning and self-reflection, as well as a willingness to challenge and dismantle systemic barriers and biases.

Finally, the future of leadership will require a greater focus on social responsibility and sustainability. As businesses and organisations become more aware of their impact on the environment and society, leaders who can create a culture of ethical decision-making and sustainable practices will be better positioned to build trust and create long-term value for all stakeholders. This requires a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of economic, social, and environmental systems and a commitment to creating shared value for all stakeholders.

In conclusion, the future of leadership will likely be characterised by a move towards more collaborative, emotionally intelligent, technologically savvy, diverse, and socially responsible leadership. As the world continues to change at an unprecedented pace, those who can adapt and evolve their leadership styles to meet these challenges will be better equipped to thrive and create a positive impact in the years to come.


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