21st Century Leaders

There were comments around the desk about how better urban outcomes might happen if architects were lead consultants as they have been in the past or in other States (leadership roles in major infrastructure given more to engineers or project managers).   We couldn’t pinpoint why that came to be, expect I think it is also the responsibility of individuals/design professions.   Prehaps architects are quite happy not to lead, or firms don’t have the capability to. 

It suprises me, since I’m bias to it, but not all designers are interested in leadership or wider responsibilities.  This seems counter-intuitive to me since designers are inherently trying to do different things, and it takes leadership to enact any change.  

I stumbled on this  – What will a 21st century leader look like?
Jim Murray on Leadershiphttp://www.leader-values.com/Content/detail.asp?ContentDetailID=1224

Lots of interesting points that I see relating to leadership in life, community projects, and design. 

Some extracts –

  • In my judgement, the leader of the past was a doer. The leader of the present is a planner. And the leader of the future will be a teacher.

  • In what way do leaders think differently? In my judgement, leaders are big-picture (not narrow) thinkers.  They search for wisdom moreso than answers. They are focussed (not scattered) in their thinking. They are creative (not restrictive) thinkers, driven by an insatiable curiosity for discovery and innovation. They are realistic and strategic thinkers. They are possibility thinkers, reflective thinkers. And they understand the value of shared, unselfish thought
  • Take responsibility for your failures, then move on. True leaders blame no one but themselves. They learn through conscientious self-evaluation of their performance. They learn best from adversity and negative outcomes, such as being demoted or fired. The key to your advancement is to learn from your setbacks.  Crisis has a way of revealing who we really are. 
  • “A man’s character is his fate.” It is a simple but profound truth. The essence of a leader’s character, in my view, is her integrity, her curiosity, her credibility, and her daring. On this foundation, she must have a guiding vision, without which a leader doesn’t know what she wants to do with her talent and thus where she wants to go.
  • Good leaders begin their career paths as good followers. Leaders and followers share some important characteristics, particularly the ability to collaborate and the willingness to listen. Good leaders and good followers ask great questions. They want to know what and why. That’s how they got to where they are and that’s how they stay on the leading edge of change.
  • How does a leader gain trust? Without trust, leaders cannot lead. Trust is the fuel that drives agile and innovative organizations. When people trust one another, they take risks, they challenge conventional wisdom, they dare to lead. Trust is the prerequisite to improving organizational performance and achieving sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Tomorrow’s leaders will create networks, not hierarchies or silos, to both create and share knowledge

Suspect we are all leaders in some way or avenue


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