Variables and Constants…Leading in the 21st Century

Reading time: 1 minute. Video time: 10 minutes.


Would King David’s, General Patton’s, Vince Lombardi’s, or Theodore Roosevelt’s leadership been as effective today as it was during their time?


They led in a different environment, different people, had different obstacles, and different resources.

When we think about producing great leaders today, we often look back on the great male and female leaders of their time and try to match or emulate their skills. By wholly doing so, however, we might be putting ourselves at a disadvantage. There are certainly leadership constants that will withstand the test of time, but it is the leadership variables that will separate and elevate a great leader from his peers. On the surface, I would argue that none of the aforementioned leaders possessed the variables necessary to succeed as a leader today, however, whether or not they would have adapted and developed them is a different story (I’d like to think they would have). They were too Wise, Rugged, and Brave, and in our time, those qualities are becoming less valued and quickly transitioning into the more desired attributes of being Learned, Alluring, and Careful. In turn, creating leaders who lack what it takes to continually move forward and make challenging decisions regardless of how much it might hurt. Focusing on the constants and refining the variables will help any 21st century leader produce a greater good not only in the environment in which they operate, but also the ones that surround it. Once we (collectively) begin to realize we are in a leadership drought, due to our own valuation of infirm attributes, we can begin to work towards developing our current and next generation of leaders to carry us through some challenging times ahead.

Check out this spot-on TED talk on what variables are necessary for a 21st century leader.

TED Talk on Leadership – Click HERE

Be Wise. Rugged. Brave.


Photo Source: Time Magazine Online.


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