In the past few weeks, news headlines have been dominated by stories of conflict across several dimensions. We’ve been torn apart by divisiveness and vitriol. We’ve witnessed terrible violence and expressions of hatred. This is not who we are. As despair sets in, there is a desperate need for hope and optimism – and most importantly for bold leadership. My fellow business leaders, we are in a unique position to be the change agents that shape the narrative for our collective future.
Pioneering spirit, diversity, and optimism through change – these are the values that make our nation so extraordinary. These values have spurred innovation and progress. Even when we fear change, we eventually learn to embrace it fully. As human beings, we are wired to fear anything that’s different from us. But the differences that separate us are not greater than the values that unite us. And it’s these very differences that help us learn, grow and transform.
The landscape for the next 10 years looks dramatically different from the last 10 years – a world that is technologically advanced, geopolitically charged, economically challenging, and socially conflicted. What role will we play in this context? What impact can we create beyond generating business results? How do we take a bigger view of the opportunity we have as individuals and the type of mark we want to leave?
Be the door opener, not the gatekeeper.
Open doors for diverse perspectives and challenge the status quo. Disrupt your unconscious biases and enlighten colleagues. Let go of old paradigms and predictable ways of doing things. Evangelize the possibilities that inspires others to adopt a different mindset. Create a platform for new ideas, new methods and new solutions. Connect change to real business impact and drive accountability within your organization.
Be the beacon, not the bystander.
The ultimate success of any organization depends on the connectedness of its people to a shared mission. Change presents an opportunity to evoke a renewed sense of purpose. Be bold in your vision, so you can inspire your organization. Be bold in your decisions, so you can radically move forward. Be bold in your actions and embrace discomfort, so you can adapt to change more readily.
Be the catalyst, not the bottleneck.
Leaders with conviction create an environment of certainty for everyone. When a leader is absolutely convinced they have chosen the best course of action, everyone who follows them unconsciously absorbs this belief. The most powerful transformation is the one that catalyzes change in others. Exemplify bold leadership and BE the change agent.