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The Challenges of Leadership in the 21st Century

With the growing access to information for all people across the world, 21st-century leaders have a challenging role. They need to lead and influence people who want power of their own. The members of the groups affect the leader’s attitude in various ways. Today, organizational leaders are considered to be at the same level with all other employees in the organization. However, they have the legitimate right to exercise power in different forms (Weber, 1946). The challenges of contemporary leadership include establishing discipline in the organization, building team spirit among distinctive personalities, and guiding the organization through constant changes imposed by the market trends.

An organization can only be healthy and prosperous when all its members work in compliance with its principles. The leader has a role to maintain discipline and high degrees of productivities. Creating such spirit of moral and consistency is not easy in a team of people who are not behaviorally cohesive. All departments within the organization should function in accordance with the same principles. In order to achieve such cohesion, the leader needs to bring awareness about the main mission of the institution, the plans towards success, and the priorities.

The challenge of team-building is complex due to the strong personalities it is consisted of. Even when the leader manages to instill organizational pride, it is difficult for him to maintain discipline by mobilizing individuals towards a single goal. Smart delegation of tasks is one of the most effective solutions that bring cohesion into the team and make it more productive. When the leader empowers different members of the team with certain responsibilities, the entire organization starts functioning more efficiently. In addition, the leader must pay attention to each individual in order to boost the self-esteem of the entire personnel.

In a constantly evolving surrounding, the leader faces a challenge to understand, mobilize, and manage the team through change. Every alternation comes with consequences upon the team spirit, so the leader needs to deal with the employees’ reaction and resistance to change. The global business environment does not offer any guarantees that the organization would remain safe and successful. Dramatic changes are beyond anyone’s control, so the leader needs to adapt the team’s practices in compliance with the imposed circumstances. Change management is based on experiments, risks, trial and error. The organization’s adaptation to change is not the only challenge the leader faces; his main responsibility in such situation is to control the cognition and emotions of the members.

Change, as one of the greatest challenges a leader faces today, can only be faced with clarity. The leader must be a successful visionary, who will reduce ambiguity and motivate the team members to embrace the altered practices. A healthy organization is dependent upon the active involvement of the leader. Regardless of the situation they are facing, the main role of the leader is proactivity. Franklin Roosevelt was an exemplary leader who managed to lead an entire nation through times of change. Contemporary leaders can employ his strategy in order to remain in control of a difficult situation. They need to acknowledge and face the conflicts, base their decisions on research and creativity, and preserve their objectivity regardless of the circumstances.