The challenge in leading today
Rapid technological and social change has created a highly complex leadership role for the professional leader today. While today’s leader is as effective a worker as our country has produced, they are increasingly challenged to lead for two reasons: (1) the complexity of the skills they must be taught in order to perform their duties; and (2) their variant values and attitudes, brought about by the rapidity with which social change has taken place in the past 15 to 20 years.
The school system and the instruction of leaders in training management help meet the first aspect of the challenge. Due to the latter reason however, leaders often have difficulty understanding and communicating with their followers and vice versa. Technological advances in all communication media, have made the young leaders of today more knowledgeable about what is going on in the world than their predecessors. Today’s ‘management school graduates’ have also been taught to think more for themselves and to question anything which is not clearly based on logic and reason. Finally, today’s managers/leaders are the product of an affluent society-one which has provided them with more material things and in addition, freedom of action like none ever before.