• ronavdzander

The Future of Leadership (Salon).

Last week I had the pleasure to participate and 'thought-provoke' during the Future of Leadership Salon alongside inspirational people from all over the globe.

The Future of Leadership Salon (FoLS) is a very special format bringing together 60 international executives to discuss human-centric leadership - for a better tomorrow.

On the FoLS website it states: "There’s one thing we know for sure – the future will look different. Very different. Being a leader in the fourth Industrial Revolution is not a walk in the park. Especially today we need leaders who steer with impact and significance. Who believe in a human-centric focus and use innovation for the greater good. The network mindset is standing for growth and the strongest relationships are based on powerful conversations."

Well, if that does not sound promising. And yes, it turned out to be a very inspiring day with wonderful people from (literally) all over the globe, that want to make a difference in their leadership roles. We had talks, workshops, networking sessions and many great conversations. And we learnt how to hug properly! Heart to heart. Special thanks to Luis for that :)

"I have no time to sharpen the axe, I have too much trees to cut"

My key take away: Take time to reflect and pause. We live in very fast times. Take a moment to pause. And that is not always easy. We are used to instant messaging, constant reaction - just sleep over it a night and reply tomorrow. Take a break and really listen to different perspectives. Create times for yourself and your team for self-reflection.

We have to shut down the servers.

What I found really interesting were the discussions around technology and media usage - we are used to being constantly connected, always reachable. Some people said "We should shut down the servers", "Phones should be handed it when arriving at work", others plead for self-control and self-management "No one should tell me when to use my phone or not". I personally switched off all my notifications in the beginning of the year (mind you - I have 15 different communication channels on my phone). If you now instantly want to reach me - you have to call me (which seems to be a bit outdated these days ;)), otherwise I decide when I open my phone and check my messages (and I am not constantly interrupted). Hence, I believe we should be able to manage our technology-usage and work on our self-management without shutting servers down.. However, one participant made an interesting comment and said "It is like in a family. If the parents say: Phone off the table, kids do that." If the leadership team (or clients) expect you to be always reachable and responsive - how much saying can you have in that?

You see, a lot of interesting and thought-provoking discussions.

As I mentioned, I took away to make more time to reflect and pause - and also work on my self-reflection. Always reflect, question yourself, your biases, your assumptions. Dig deep and deeper - and never stop developing yourself.

In my 'thought-provoking session' I talked about WE and NOMAD.

What does it mean to create a community of "we" in a nomadic world, where everyone is always on the go? Where we see a lot of traditional institutions, such as village communities, church and trust in politics declining?

What will 'replace' this? What do we need? What can companies and work provide?

I do not have a final answer, but I think this will be one of the key challenges in the future - to work and develop this answer together.

All in all a great day, special thanks to wonderful Eve Simon and team for putting it all together and inviting me and for everyone there for their openness and ideas. If you could not participate this year - maybe next year? :)

So, what is your next challenge as a leader? How can we change the course together?

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