Table of Contents
2.0 What are the predicted key competencies for 21st-century leaders?.
2.1 Key competencies for 21st-century leaders.
2.2 Theories that can be considered under the contemporary approaches of leadership.
3.0 How are these similar or different to classical leadership capabilities?.
Contingency / Situational Theories.
4.0 What are the underlying causes of changes to leadership competencies?.
Technological changes and advancement
Social and Demographic Changes.
5.0 Compare, contrast, synthesize and critically analyze the academic research on this topic.
5.1 Scholars debates on 21st-century leadership.
5.2 Key themes/theories.
5.3 Potential applications and implications.
In this 21st century, leadership is a matter for business organizations to be successful. This is because leadership focuses on discipline, courage, humanness, trustworthiness, intelligence, and vision of the business that are the key factors in meeting the organizational goals and objectives (Bratton and Gold, 2012). The term “leadership” is defined by experts in different ways. Mullins (2014) defined leadership as the process that focuses on vision, set of direction, and motivate and inspire the people towards the business goals and objectives. Senior and Swailes (2015) said leadership is a role that creates new relationships and structures, influences, drives, inspires, and leads the people towards organizational goals and objectives.
However, there are many debates about leadership practices overtimes. According to Mullins (2014), many experts believe that the basic principles and practices of leadership have been changes for ages, but some of the experts think the types and characteristics and traits of leadership have been changing with the frequent changes in this current digital business world. Thomson (2016) claimed that the practices of global leadership have been more dynamic and complex than ever before because of frequent and major changes in the technological and economic environment. Therefore, as McFarland (2015) notes, the leaders in the 21st century should be more concerned in listening to the followers, making a relationship with the followers, gaining enough skills and experiences about the business operation (mainly external business environment), and being a good team player to bring success for the business. Bennis (2016) said the 21st-century leaders should be quicker and effective decision-makers. Torrington et al. (2015), effective leaders must have knowledge about technology used in the workplace and drive the people towards business goals. Thomson (2016) stated that it is essential for the leaders to have knowledge and understanding of globalization and global climate changes, global politics, innovation and creativity, mainly in making effective decisions for the business.
2.0 What are the predicted key competencies for 21st-century leaders?
2.1 Key competencies for 21st-century leaders
Experts define competencies for 21st-century leaders in different ways. Torrington et al. (2015) defined leadership competencies as the leadership behaviors and skills which provide outstanding performance. Mullins (2014) said leadership competency is the leaders’ skillful approach to support the organizations to identify and develop better leaders in the next generation. Brittan and Gold (2013) classified the leadership competencies as cognitive competencies, interpersonal competencies, and intrapersonal competencies.
2.1.1 Cognitive competences
The cognitive competencies of leaders are the cognitive processes that focus on various creative thinking styles (like local, global, and legislative), and critical thinking that focuses on multiple co-ordination, self-reflection, making inferences, and reasoning (Bratton and Gold, 2013).
Critical Thinking: Torrington et al. (2015) said the leaders in the 21st century must gain knowledge and skills on critical thinking such as knowledge on critical evaluation, analysis, and inferences. Mullins (2014) stated that leaders in the 21st century must have the ability to improve their services, process and communication with the changes in a business environment to influence and motivate the followers.
Creativity and innovation: Kenneth and Johnson (2015) stated that leaders in the 21st century must have creativity and innovation skills. This is because, as Torrington et al. (2015) note, the business environment and customer needs and expectations are frequently changing. Therefore, the leaders must have the capability and capacity to adapt to these rapid changes within the business.
Professional expertise and experiences: Thomson (2016) stated that an effective leader must have professional and technical knowledge and experiences. For example, it is essential to have knowledge overall knowledge about sales and marketing, accounting and finance, technologies and application uses in the business. Bratton and Gold (2013) said having professional and technical knowledge for the leaders is essential to drive the followers and improve their performance and productivity. Torrington et al. (2015) suggested the leaders gain knowledge on overseas languages, culture, globalization, global economies and politics, and technology usages in global businesses.
2.1.2 Interpersonal competencies
Building relationship: Good leaders in the 21st century build up a stronger relationship with the followers and business stakeholders (Robert and Sotton, 2015). These stronger relationships support the leaders to retain their followers, influence and inspire the business stakeholders and engage the stakeholders mainly team members within the business (Kotter, 2012).
Global awareness: According to Robert and Sotton (2015), leaders in the 21st century need to be aware of global issues such as technological issues, economic issues, social and environmental issues, legal issues. Mullins (2014) said leaders should have the capability to deal with multi-cultural and global factors including global politics, economics, and climate and cultural factors.
Communication and collaboration: Mullins (2014) said 21st-century leaders should have effective communication and collaboration skills. Thomson (2016) said by developing effective communication, leaders can clarify and share their ideas and knowledge with the followers. Torrington et al. (2015) disclosed that good collaboration and communication between the leaders and followers lead to better conflict solutions, problem solutions, negotiation and decision making. Most importantly, for developing any new strategies or bringing major changes in the business, it is essential for the leaders to communicate and collaborate with the followers (Robert and Sotton, 2015)………..