The Leadership of Excellence (LoE) series is therefore launched to cover a wider perspective on this important topic and moving the debate beyond what the previous schools of thought have illuminated us with. The debate is no longer valid in so far as defining what leadership is about or who great leaders are. Furthermore the debate is no longer about whether leaders are made or born and what key competencies they must have. The new debate is really looking at dynamic leadership and evolving leadership and a leadership new paradigm that blends all of the previous labels that have been covered extensively in the various schools of thought. For instance the following list of leadership that has been described and scientifically studied will still be applicable in the context of the 21st century:

  • Servant leadership
  • Gutsy leadership
  • Transformation leadership
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Passionate leadership
  • Inspiring leadership
  • Visionary leadership
  • Democratic leadership
Being a Leader Motivation and Recognition Ability to Inspire Having Courage Learing and Reflecting Mentoring and Guiding Believing in Talent Growth Customer and Value Orientation Problem Solving Mindset Risk Taker Growth Oriented Obsession with Innovation Passion for Excellence Sustainability Oriented Change Driver Agile and Responsive Style Partnership Relationship Driven

Being a Leader

This means that leaders are individuals who want to be leaders. Whether they are born with the confidence to be a leader or whether they are individuals who are wanting to be leaders, the issue is that leadership is not an imposition rather a desire of being a leader is not a dedicated task but it is rather something that individuals can aspire to become and can feel within themselves that they stand a good chance of being excellent leaders.


This means that leaders will continue to have their own personal convictions about their abilities, their passion and most importantly about the values that they subscribe to and the guiding principles that they would like to inject in their organisations and make others follow.


Good leaders are leaders who are self aware and they have the moral compass and more importantly they demonstrate the highest standard of role model behaviour.


Good leaders are those who build dreams for others, they build success for their organisations, they build capabilities for sustainable competitiveness and more importantly they build human talent.

Motivation and Recognition

Taking time to fuel passion within people and ensuring that the work climate is positive and the culture is conducive to immense creativity and innovation is a key critical role of leaders in the modern context. Taking time to also recognise performance and acknowledge that it is people who make a difference is one of the distinctive attributes of great leadership.

Ability to Inspire

Means that leaders are those who stretch the thinking, and create visions and dreams for their organisations that gives them a big leap in performance and make them grow stronger with time.

Having Courage

Modern leadership is about making tough decisions and dealing with difficult issues not only are they expected to have consciousness but also they have to be decisive and they have to face adversity with courage.

Learning and Reflecting

In a knowledge-based economy there are thousands of decisions that leaders make all of the time and of course not all of them can be the right decisions or can lead to the right impact. By taking time to reflect on achievements and on the lessons learnt from mistakes leaders can learn and grow and replenish their knowledge and their capabilities for steering their organisations in the best directions possible. Without the capacities to learn and unlearn and replenish knowledge leaders cannot be trusted to make the right decisions in knowledge based context.

Mentoring and Guiding

One of the key tasks for modern leadership is to influence the growth and development of others and to constantly make them believe that they can grow and can achieve more and they can take huge challenges and deliver the right momentum for their organisations towards a sustainable performance and a bright future.

Believing in Talent Growth

Modern leadership is concerned first and foremost with the people. Unless there is evident growth and development of human capital and its involvement in all facets of organisations then leaders cannot be judged to be successful.

Customer and Value Orientation

Leaders are individuals who are totally convinced that the real purpose of an organisation is to render value to the wider stakeholders but more importantly to deliver primarily to the key beneficiaries of the endeavours of their organisations and in most cases it are the customer, consumer or citizen.

Problem Solving Mindset

Steering an organisation towards success means in most cases tackling issues, dealing with challenges, and solving problems.

Risk Taker

Great success can only come through the ability of leaders to weigh risks and take them with a full knowledge about the likelihood of failing but accepting the challenge in order to guarantee success.

Growth Orientated

Modern leadership for the 21st century must be characterised by its ability to create growth and by preserving a continuity of purpose. Without growth there is no clear evidence of injecting the requirements for sustainable performance and for building capacity and capability two conditions that must exist in every organisation wanting to exist and survive in the 21st century.

Obsession with Innovation

It means that the fuel for growth and development in the 21st century will have to be based on the importance of driving performance through innovation and refuelling the needs and expectations of customers and stakeholders through novel ideas and new solutions.

Passion for Excellence

Without having superior standards of performance and without adhering to the best practices that are available out there and without believing that sustainable performance can only be achieved through raising the bar and subscribing to the highest standards by focusing on building excellence leaders cannot be considered to be successful.

Sustainability Orientated

The modern corporation is one that is aware of the needs of all of its stakeholders but more importantly it is one that is placed dynamically in the context of the communities where it operates and also the environment that affects the organisation directly or affects the community in the vicinity where it is based. Sustainability through CSR practices is one of the critical ways of judging successful leadership in the 21st century.

Change Driver

In the previous schools of thought change was regarded as a challenge from outside that needs to be handled internally with caution and the test for leadership used to be on their ability to handle change and absorb it internally, smoothly and without creating disruption or creating a negative work climate. In the 21st century change becomes the enabler and also the catalyst for creating a momentum of excellence and delivering sustainable competiveness, it is therefore a characteristic that modern leadership must have through their abilities to inspire through change to innovate with change in mind and to change the work environment so that better growth is achieved and bigger performance can be impacted.

Agile and Responsive Style

It means that leaders are operating with total flexible perspective and can adapt and adopt things as required by market conditions or demanded by their stakeholders. This ability to demonstrate agility and responsiveness will be one of the most critical attributes that modern leadership will be expected to have particularly in the context of words that move forward through speed and where innovation becomes a commodity product.

Partnership and Relationship Driven

This attribute means that modern leadership in the 21st century would need to be entrepreneurially driven in terms of creating smart partnerships with external partners and stakeholders but also with building long lasting relationships with customers and key stakeholders.

Leadership of Excellence – A Holistic Approach

The Leadership of Excellence (LoE) series will tackle various perspectives associated with concerns that modern leadership have but also will focus on best practices and evidence based coverage on how the aforementioned attributes and characteristics of modern leaderships are being put into practice.

  • Being
  • Believing
  • Behaving
  • Building

Qualifiers Attributes

  • Personal Connection
  • Self Awareness
  • Moral Compass
  • Role Model Behaviour

Essential Attributes

  • Ability to Inspire
  • Having Courage
  • Learning and Reflecting
  • Mentoring and Guiding
  • Believing in Talent Growth
  • Customer and Value orientation
  • Problem Solving Mindset
  • Motivation and Recognition

Credibility Attributes

  • Obsession with Innovation
  • Passion for Excellence
  • Sustainability Oriented
  • Change Driver
  • Agile and Responsive Style
  • Risk Taker
  • Partnership and Relationship Driven
  • Growth Oriented