What makes a great leader in the 21st century?

In a recent TED talk, Roselinde Torres attempts to distill 25 years of working with many different leaders in order to answer the question, ‘What makes a great leader in the 21st century?’  While it would be possible to come up with many lists of beneficial attributes and behaviours, the focus here is on leaders who are able to navigate the rapidly shifting terrain of our world.  In such a context, she argues, traditional assessments of leaders are unlikely to be helpful and may even mislead.  Torres identifies three questions that are diagnostic in  determining great leaders:

  1. Where are you looking to anticipate change? (What input are you getting and what are you doing about it?)
  2. What is the diversity measure of your network? (Are we able to develop relationships with people who are different?)
  3. Are you courageous enough to abandon the past? (Are you willing to take risks and withstand some telling you that you are wrong?)

The full TED talk is worth a listen:

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