In this complex, rapid and unpredictable world, to design the company of the future we need leaders capable of thinking outside the box and approaching problems laterally and analytically – rounded leaders for a complex world.
Giving new meaning to the art of leadership. The leader of tomorrow - a hybrid being, part thinker and part doer.
And what if the leader of tomorrow was neither an expert nor a manager, but an artist? A hybrid being, part thinker and part doer, with a background in the abstract world of art but still with both feet on the ground. With his or her head in the clouds but with a firm grip on the fundamentals of life.
Fusing different worlds: a multifaceted leader.The term "artist" could be used to describe a person able to create hybrid objects, drawing inspiration from various "disciplines" and "techniques". We can be experts in plastic arts, drawing or the guitar, but the true artist is the one who exceeds and crosses the different disciplines.
This ability to transcend the mental barriers which are so common in our society is vital in periods of transition such as ours. We have long thought in terms of "expertise" and sought out leaders who are the best in their discipline – the best lawyers, the best at remembering, the best at reciting, the best at demonstrating or the best at maths. It is now time for a systemic approach, complex thought, critical thinking and cross-fertilisation. Those able to inform in the future must reflect tomorrow's world by being complete and hybrid. The days of OR OR are over. Welcome to AND AND. We are in the era of the multifaceted leader.
"The days of OR OR are over. Welcome to AND AND. We are in the era of the multifaceted leader. "Mathematician and philosopher, musician and psychologist, writer and admiral, DJ and militant, painter and speech therapist... In their personal construction, in their lifestyle and the way in which they practice their art, artists often have this ability to cross over into other disciplines.
Expressing humanity: an authentic leaderIn a world in which information is just a click away, leaders are more than ever bound by a duty of transparency in their communications. This requirement makes the boundary between professional and private life more porous and highlights any dissimulation. We expect our leaders to be dependable and consistent in their personal and professional lives, to have integrity and not claim to be infallible. Gone are the days of superheroes, cold in their perfection. We now need women and men who acknowledge their weaknesses and vulnerability, who express their emotions – from joy to doubts and regrets.
Given this new set of rules, leadership – like artistry – must not be reduced to a single skill or "talent". It becomes intimately linked to a self-assured, sincere and fully rounded personality which is convincing and generates emotion, an authenticity which reassures and will enable the leader to win trust.
Taking a stand: a committed leaderThis extraordinary transformation we are living through is disruptive, creating new models, values and ways of doing things, encouraging everyone to give new meaning to their choices and actions. Companies can no longer restrict themselves to being simply "economically viable objects" since now, more than ever, they need the holy grail of employee commitment and the ability to provide an answer to their search for meaning. Companies that strive for growth for growth's sake or ignore their ecosystem are increasingly outdated.
More is therefore expected of leaders in terms of their choices and convictions. They must embrace causes, adopt strong positions, perhaps instilling in their organisations that extra soul which will make the difference, make the effort worthwhile and inspire loyalty.
"In the future we will all need to be artists, at the intersection of different worlds[...]"In the future we will all need to be artists, at the intersection of different worlds, between the tangible and the intangible, the logical and the emotional, discipline and indulgence, with the ability to "hack" our brains and our certainties to see things laterally, based on gut-feeling and convictions.
This article, collectively written by The Boson Project, is also available in French.