Guest Post by Ali Jafri

21st Century LeadershipDespite the fact the countries are slowly recovering from recent financial crisis, CEOs across the globe still feel that financial environment is far from stable or comfortable. It has always been a tough challenge to find strong business leaders offering a unique combination of personality and skill necessary to take the top job.

Many CEOs believe that their markets are being affected by factors like technology or government regulations. Similarly, they have to combat with continuously occurring changes to grow and maintain their competitive advantage in the market.

21st Century: Visionary Leaders Need to Step Up

Organisations need creative, innovative and pioneering leaders to stay ahead in the race. These leaders must have the insight to anticipate what is going to happen next and understand subtitles of the marketplace. Business leaders or CEOs must have the necessary expertise to counter risks that are part and parcel of innovation process and change. Most importantly, they should have the courage to make tough decisions, strong teams to implement them and some luck to achieve success.

Clear and decisive leadership has become extremely important considering the fact that almost two-third of CEOs are disrupted by market regulations, new competitors, technological advancements and inability of their senior management to make decisions. Most of the CEOs do want to embrace change but are offended by difficulties to handle it, creating more problems for themselves and their organisations.

Leadership: Change Is Important

Leaders have no choice but to evolve or get eliminated because a business must change otherwise it will decline. The modern leaders find it really challenging to create an innovation culture that is bottom-up and top-down at the same time with the ability to draw on best possible talent pool available within business’s ecosystem.

It is necessary for CEOS to promote innovation and, for that matter, they need to have leaders that support change and encourage staff to experiment with new things. However, it is also imperative for business leaders to maintain a balance between giving free reign to staff and providing them with a clear framework for governance.

Business leaders also struggle to keep abreast with changes occurring due to latest technological advancements. In fact, most of them are still “rooted in the past” and have conservative approach when it comes to practising those changes in their workplace, making it challenging and difficult for them to embrace change successfully.

Leadership Development: Apparent Gap in Skill Levels

Business Leaders have apparent skill shortage to handle technology. Many of them accept the fact that it is necessary for the senior management of their organisations to have better understanding of the technology for sustainable future growth. Unfortunately, there are some leaders who build technology skills as a requirement for recruitment or succession planning, not as a part of leadership development process.

Business leaders need to realize that challenges they face in 21st century are starker than ever before. Many CEOs perform their duties in extremely harsh and constantly changing markets while others simply cannot meet the ambitious requirements of the top post. To make matters more complex, the change will become an integral part of CEOs everyday life and therefore, they need to evolve and develop as there is not short or secret formula for success.

Guest Author

Ali JafriThroughout his professional career, Ali Jafri has been associated with globally recognized consulting firms, including PriceWaterHouse Coopers & Mercer consulting. Currently, he is working for Madinah Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. He has moderated more than 100 Live Webinars on MILE’s platform by successfully engaging speakers from Top Academic Schools in the world and Global Consulting firms.

Ali Jafri is a Certified Practitioner of Personality & Preference Inventory program (PAPI) which is a Psychometric tool developed by Cubiks, an entity of PA Consulting U.K.