I started a great conversation with Dr. Ellen F. Weber on Twitter yesterday about what one word defines this era of leadership. It made me wonder what word describes our leaders today, and what word should leaders strive to be remembered for over the next decade.
It was easiest to come up with a few words I do not think we are achieving but should. I would love to say we are more aware of our environment and society, as companies and leaders are realizing the impact of their actions on the world, but I do not think ethical is a word that describes us (thanks to Bernard Madoff and Congressman Weiner to just name two). I would love to say we are innovative, but I find it so hard to top inventing air travel and landing on the moon when we are shutting down space exploration programs. So the word I chose was busy – we are busy, active, perhaps I would say frantic in trying to do more, be more, see more. Busy is the new black.
But does doing more, seeing more, making more really define what today’s leadership era will be known as? I hope not. I admit I am guilty as the next leader; I multitask everything and am constantly thinking of how to do more with the same amount of time. My self-diagnosed To-Do-Syndrome is not going away anytime soon (I have another 14 years until both of my boys are in college). So what is a better type of leadership I would like to leave as a legacy? I would love to be known as a leader with Self-Discipline. The self-discipline to make sure I conduct my business and personal affairs with the highest ethical standard. The self-discipline to know my goals and keep moving towards them, without being derailed by other ideas or lesser important distractions. Here are some more areas of self-discipline to ponder: Self-discipline to use our global intelligence to make the world a better place for everyone… Self-discipline to to make sure ego never gets in the way of doing good…and the Self-discipline to know and live by what you stand for and live every day that way.