Exploring Leadership in 21st Century Organizations – Nu Leadership Series

“A good leader is one who can tell another how to reach his or her potential; a great leader is one who can help another discover this potential for him or herself.”
Bo Bennett

Do you want to inspire the next generation of employees? You need to start today, Leader! Employees are looking to follow a special type of leader in the future. In the 21st century, leaders who have the capacity for caring become an inspirational magnet to employees. Most managers don’t care about the personal welfare of their workers.

Unfortunately, many managers forget about managing with love. I’m not talking about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct. I’m talking about a leader having a great relationship with his followers. Contemporary organizations simply do not have genuine affection for their employees.

Managers view their staff as a business commodity (like a computer, fax, or cell phone). Pfeffer, author of the Human Equation, notes that today’s conventional wisdom holds that the way to economic success is to cut costs. This simply means cutting people. A company may be concerned on a very superficial level as in “how are you doing today,” but don’t feel a sense of caring for its employees.

Winston, author and leadership guru, advocates the need for more caring leaders. Leadership is about giving, not taking. It’s more than just being the boss. Hoyle, author of Leadership and Futuring, maintains three characteristics of this new type of leader. These characteristics are (a) ability to communicate with followers, especially the organizational vision; (b) a capacity for caring and concern; and (c) a persistent attitude. Many leaders operate under a very authoritarian mode.

Sadly, the lack of concern for people is a growing issue for effective organizations. It also creates an unproductive work environment for employee development. What America needs is more people-focused leaders. If leaders are truly concerned about their employees, then the workforce will be transformed into a 21st century organization, thereby changing the world. However, it must start with a visionary, concerned leader.


Hoyle, J. (1995). Leadership and Futuring. New York: Corwin Press, Inc.

Pfeffer, J. (1998). The Human Equation. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press Company.

Winston, B. (2002). Be A Leader for God’s Sake. Virginia Beach, VA. Regent University.

(c) 2006 by Daryl D. Green