Are we all leaders now? Are there special qualities and attributes attributable to the knowledge leader? Do we know what a knowledge leader looks like? The answer is yes and no. We are all leaders now online and off-line. In terms of Dan Tapscott’s thinking ‘we are all professionals together’. However, we don’t have clear picture of what a knowledge leader looks like as much research remains to be done in this area. However, one thing is clear the knowledge leaders’ know that the landscape and environment are collaborative and supportive. They are aware that leaders need to coach (the Yogi bear) approach, rather than continuously be (a commander or commissar). I love the Yogi as he/she ‘believes natural change occurs when people have natural incentives to make changes to themselves’. The Yogi focuses on giving colleagues the opportunity to express their feeling through conversation and engagement that leads to organizational change. The commissar of course is stuck in the world of rules and procedures! However, these two approaches offer a very stark contrast, whereas the subtlety of leadership styles in between the two approaches needs to be unpacked, especially in a web world. Of course really it is all about how the leader sees the world.
In terms of leadership and insight ‘don’t the best leaders in the world use their insight’? This links leadership with self-awareness. Think of Daniel Goleman’s work. Trusting and believing in your own insight is key. Leadership and insight are very much at the heart of the creative thinker. The answers and solutions arise from a deep place within. Suddenly it’s the ‘ah ha’ moment! Developing this type of leadership is about developing an inner resilience. Ok, you can think complexity and bigger over-view thinking and making sure you understand the consequence of the decisions you make, but the ability to go within and not without, is the balancing act you need. It adds another dimension so that it becomes the resilience that will make a difference, and make you survive.
Janette Young, Knowledge Futures, Knowledge Consultant, Trainer/Learning Facilitator and Coach for Knowledge, Innovative Leadership, Personal Development and Education. Author of Personal Knowledge Capital: The inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world Chandos/Elsevier publishing. Paperback and Kindle e-book.