2021: Calling Leaders!

If you thought that 2020 is coming to an end, think again, the impacts that we have felt and observed and the developing residual effects are far more over and threaten to play mind-games with humanity for many more years to come then you would have thought! Join me here as we take a fleeting look at this space and appreciate why this becomes the perfect compelling case for more Leaders to emerge from the shadows and bear the torch once again so that humanity can break free from the shackles of disengagement and disconnected togetherness! So here we go!

Unlike the earlier years what 2020 has ended up doing (much to the amusement of many, who have still retained their sanity!) is that, it has created contradictory narratives for every sphere of human life, across societies, nations and every imaginable constituent of the society! It hasn’t been that there have never been competing or contradicting narratives earlier, they sure did exist- but they had one fail-safe valve and that valve was of moderation! This moderation was done by different elements of a society at different times and to varying degrees of efficacy. This ensured that no matter what happened narratives and contradictory spaces within a society always grew only to the extent and proportion that the society could cope with! Each time the narratives seemed to threaten to run away with something or fuel discord or anarchy the moderation mechanism would step -in ( most of the times) and save the day for everyone around! 2020 is the year, perhaps the first one, where the world was shown how the fail safe moderation system can be broken down, over-ridden and at places shredded away by the other vital pillars of a society- singularly or collectively! This sure enough is something that the world has been presented with for the first time and the worry is that this won’t be the last time!

You see, 2020, has provided alternative and confrontational narrative for every element that a society chooses to deal with! Whether it is about politics, it is about faith, its is about science, it is about upholding values or throwing them away- almost each and every of these aspects have been debated and discussed as always (which is what the way should be) but what 2020 ended up doing is largely, has made the whole issue of having a divergent or a different point of view a taboo and something that has not been welcomed by societies across the world in 2020. Humanity for long has dealt with perplexing issues and that has been the hallmark of what has made it successful yet turbulent. However, the new challenges presented by the recent developments have made a strong case for harnessing the pivotal power which can make amends and restore all that is broken and that power is Leadership!

The problems presented in 2020, were not all, necessarily something unthought of or not factored of, they were allowed to emerge (the way they did) a good deal simply because of the incompetence and incomprehensibility of the people who were dealing with what they had coming at them! Sure enough, you may argue that, any person (with the kind of crazy stuff that 2020 has been able to throw at societies) would have filed or faltered- perhaps you are right- but the point here is not that of “not failing” rather it is more to do with the ability to recover after failure and that is where real Leadership thrives! If there was one thing that was strongly felt and needed in 2020, it was the “Leadership Deficit”.

Much of what societies have had to endure and deal with was also a factor of having myopic leaders and their wayward ways of dealing with what came their way! Whether it is about the civil unrests, protests, social issues, the sections of societies contesting a point or the pandemic – whatever the cause would have been 2020 showed all the wrong ways to deal with people and their challenges and provided a masterclass on how leadership should not be! This I think should be among the most fundamental takeaways from 2020, a fact that as humanity we had through our agreed social construct possibly asked the most incompetent ones’ to lead us- to nowhere! Sure enough, it would be simply unfair to say, nothing worked and all were incompetent or lax, but that fact is that, as the majority tend to emulate what a few incompetent ones’ do, soon enough, the few good ones’ are sidelined and resigned to fighting their own existential battles! So if this is what it is, how can we expect 2021 to be different, is there anyway that change can be infused when incompetence and myopia is rampant at the leadership levels?

Well, “Leadership overhaul” begins from the top and when it comes to rewiring leadership in the societal plane it is almost always the case of nudging the leadership at the top from within and around! You see, when it comes to correcting and bringing in efficacy of leadership, that has to happen by setting up alternative leaders as proposed challengers to the existing system and that challenger needs to be supported by equally proactive and aligned base around the challenger! Unless societies agree and realize that there needs to be a fresh impetus to lead a new way, the urgency and push for this overhaul will only go on to delay what societies in general are rightly entitled to – Dignified Leadership which rises to protect and share equity among humanity the way it should be!

2021 provides an immense opportunity and rather makes a desperate appeal to have meaningful leaders and meaningful, purpose driven leadership to steer societies further and away from the chaos of 2020 and to create new pathways and ways of life to make 2021 and years beyond more sensible and humanistic! The breed of new age leaders for 2021 and beyond is not about having some magical new formula or theory at work, rather its is all about revisiting the basics and the most fundamental aspects of human society and getting attuned to the core values and essence of being human! The new leadership has to create enough sense and sensibility to let everyone know that even as humanity races ahead with automation and technology powered interventions, unless human intelligence is not automated and put to use as default to begin with every attempt to arrive at sane solutions to ever increasing complex challenges will come crashing down as they did in 2020, when AI models were used in the beginning to predict doomsday scenarios worldwide, while none of them was even sensible or enough meaningful!

The new leaders of 2021, require to harness the limitless power of common sense, science and rationality in that order and always understand the essence of deploying “just enough” as they go about dealing the problems of the day! You see, you don’t see a neurosurgeon for a headache pill, sure enough that can help, but that is not how it is supposed to be! The Leaders of 2021 will have to work hard to create enough space for competing narratives without having any of the narratives to be ridiculed and disregarded simply because they emerge from a certain pocket or section of a given society or social framework! More importantly as societies tend to get more and more vocal and local about how they feel, think and live their way and express to have their way- the leaders and their leadership will have to work overtime to ensure that this doesn’t end up trespassing into someone else’s pathway and way of life!

If 2020 was about, faltering and failing leadership across societies, the leadership stories that get written around 2021 will be the ones’ that are abe to turn the tide fast and take the hard turn safely enough to navigate the challenges coming to them without loosing the focus on what they wish to aspire and reach! The Leaders of 2021 will have to work extra hard to do away with the weight of humanity’s dumbness quotient and try to instill the much needed sense of being human the way we are supposed to be!

If you have been thinking this is all about the social space, well, this is also about our workplaces and it is also about how we lead ourselves- because it is only when the basic constituents within a social fabric begin to fail and falter is that societies begin to derail and this brings to another essence of the 2021 leadership challenge which is about, “Personal Leadership”. 2021 will also be all about Individuals- you and me and about how each one of us is able to and not able to display and deploy the leadership that we wish to demonstrate as individuals who we are! It is from these confines that the new age leaders of 2021 will emerge- to lead societies, business and themselves and the people who they wish to influence and share the story of progress with! The only real fundamental thing that has the power to create a big impact and bring about a wider influence across societies through 2021 and beyond will be the leaders and their amended and meaningful ways!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to take some time through this holiday season, and figure out your own defined space for the leadership that you want to deploy and the leader that you want to be! 2021 can might as well the moment that you have always been waiting for to take charge and lead the way- for yourself, for others or perhaps for the community that you come from!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise, stay blessed and remember, every increment of progress is the promise of your leadership!

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