The Challenges of Leadership

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Abstract

Perhaps in no other period in recent times have the challenges leaders face been so profound. In these times of uncertainty and turbulence, we look to leaders who create a sense of purpose, who generate feelings of trust and optimism, and who tap the passion, talent, and efforts of those so essential to the success of the organization and of the people it serves. Our research suggests that becoming the leader whom people look to and admire requires an active commitment to responding to 5 essential leadership challenges. These are (1) creating a sense of purpose, (2) devising means for aligning the actions of the followers with that sense of purpose, (3) establishing a context that enables others to behave in a way that is consistent with the vision and values of the organization, (4) ensuring that the work that is done provides meaning to those engaging in the work activities, and (5) adding to the sum of everyone’s knowledge through learning through reflective actions. In this article, we describe these challenges and offer suggestions that you can take to become a more effective and respected leader.

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