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In the realm of leadership literature, it’s common to find theories presented as timeless and universally applicable. However, my approach in “Safe to Great – the New Psychology of Leadership” takes a different route.
I believe it’s crucial to ground leadership theory within the context of our current times, addressing the significant challenges that shape our world today and in the near future.
1. Green Age
One of the most pressing challenges we face is the urgent need to transition our economies to sustainable energy production and consumption.
This call for a greener approach is resonating globally, requiring fundamental shifts across all sectors of the economy.
Simultaneously, the rise of AI threatens to reshape the landscape of traditional white-collar work. This demands the reskilling of millions whose professions are undergoing profound changes.
2. Globotics Age
Amidst these transformations, the integration of smart machines calls for a careful and equitable transition.
The call to care isn’t just about navigating these shifts, but also about compassionately managing our aging populations.
3. Caring Age
This includes supporting the livelihoods of approximately 400 million workers, particularly in regions like Europe and the US, who are navigating the uncertainties of evolving job roles.
Moreover, the digital age introduces its own set of challenges. The rise of deep fakes, for instance, poses a threat to democratic institutions as digital replicas of leaders cast doubt and misinformation.
This era necessitates a renewed commitment to online transparency, trust, and accountability, especially within digital platforms.
4. Digital Enlightenment
“Safe to Great” doesn’t merely dwell in theory, but grapples with the realities of these challenges.
Indeed, the essence of my approach lies in the fundamental importance of nurturing safety through care, and subsequently, fostering greatness through a blend of courageous and compassionate leadership.
This ethos, encapsulated in the concept of “Safe to Great,” underscores the pivotal role of a leadership style that not only ensures security and trust but also propels individuals and organizations toward unprecedented heights.
The journey from safe to great hinges on the cultivation of an environment where empathy, integrity, and boldness intertwine to create a framework for sustainable success.
It is through this uncomfortable and potentially disruptive interplay that leaders can navigate the challenges of our era and steer their teams and societies towards a future that is both promising and purposeful.
This is the historical context in which “Safe to Great” finds its significance – hopefully a guiding path to a future shaped by compassionate, ethical, and forward-looking leadership.
Author of Safe2Great, keynote speaker on psychological safety and growth mindset