Is Good Leadership Timeless?

I would argue that the concept of leadership is timeless, and therefore what made a good leader 100 years ago will also work today. And it will work just as well in the future.

That being said, I believe that in the future leaders will have to focus on some of specific competencies such as adaptability and multi-cultural understanding to remain an effective influence on the teams they lead.

Search for Meaning

People need a meaning for doing the things they do. Simply doing something because we have to, or because we are asked to, only works in the short-term. In order for us to really do our best, we have to be passionate about it. Passion does not come from yearly employee incentive plans or monetary gifts. It comes when we believe in what we are doing has a meaning and that meaning is important for us.

The only way one can get passionate about something is by inspiration and motivation – we have to believe in it.

That is exactly what leadership does and why it is needed in organizations. You can manage a process but you have to lead people.

One of the things that characterizes these modern times and will be more important in the future is adaptability. We are all aware that the pace of both technology and business is increasing. Technologies that took decades to evolve 100 years ago take a few years today. Business concepts and practices are diversifying as we attempt to deal with globalization.

The next generation leaders will have to master this diversity and dynamics.

They will have lead diverse people in a multicultural setting, while at the same time keep pace with the advances in technology and shifting business practices.

That is why I believe that environmental influence is going to be an important to leadership development aspect. The environments in which we are able to operate, interact, and transform also say a lot about leadership ability.

We are all products of our environments and I would venture to say that being in the right environment has a lot to do with leadership development. Obviously, great leaders understand on what to focus.

Darwin once said, and I am paraphrasing,

“It is not the strongest of a species nor the most intelligent that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

So, do you feel that leadership is timeless? What elements of leadership are needed more than ever where you work? What components of leadership are decreasing in their importance there? Is your leadership adapting, or is it staying stagnant? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Gilad Langer is Consulting manager at NNE Pharmaplan
He can be reached at
[email protected]

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  1. Charles Stringham on February 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I believe that Leadership in its full breadth is made up of timeless, objective principles that endure over time. The leadership principles that Jesus engaged during his ministry are objectively the same today, especially servant leadership. Every leadership book written today has at its core biblical principles whether they are acknowledged or aware of their presence they are there.

    Management capabilities are crucial attributes for all leaders to possess. When you manage processes, proceedures and the systems that drive your economic prosperity, it takes leadership to look beyond the mere operational functions to evaluate the effectiveness of the processes, procedures and systems in achieving great results. Leaders with management capabilities will trump management alone everytime.

    I firmly beleive that the leaders of today must master the impact of diversity in the workplace. How can you expect to create the interdependent solutions without valuing and celebrating the differences in the workplace. Successful leaders grab onto diverse workers in the workplace and empower them to contribute the best ideas.

    Leadership principles are timeless, which is why we need to strive to create new principles of effectiveness that focuses on cooperation over competition and empowering people over exerting power over people. Thanks for letting me contribute!

    Chuck Stringham

  2. David B. Dubin on June 4, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I heartily agree that leadership is timeless, as are true leadership principles. What separates leaders from others is immutable. LEADERship means setting the example for others, but it begins as good followership. Thanks for a great article.

  3. Gilad Langer on June 4, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    David, thanks for the encouraging comments.

  4. ramakrishnan6002 on April 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.