21st Century Leadership Essay

1619 Words May 5th, 2008 7 Pages
The intent of this paper is to review some of the qualities and traits of leadership that will be critical as American society continues into the 21st century. The focus of this paper will be on societal leadership, specifically, the political leadership of the United States. This paper will present the theory that there are several skills necessary in our leadership for the continued success of American society.

There can be no question that the future holds great challenges for our future leaders. Where will scientific advances and technological advances be in twenty years? Where will they be in fifty years? What unique stresses and challenges will be presented by these advances? American military predominance may very likely
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A hope for the future will also require a vision of the future that not only aligns with American values, but a vision that aligns us with the future. Hope, very simply, can be inspired through a compelling vision of our future.

This mindful leader must also be willing to stay with the vision, even in the face of enormous pressure to alter the path. Election pressures, negative press reports and a vocal opposition can bring enormous pressures on a political leader to set the vision aside and do what is expedient. Having a cohesive and inspirational vision of the future will be essential to withstand these pressures. Boyatzis and McKee cite an example of a compelling vision of hope where “…the climate is very positive, marked by excitement, passion and hope for the future. This is the kind of climate that all effective leaders create. They do so in part by stimulating others to think about the possibilities and to look ahead.”3
People naturally want to follow a leader who offers a compelling vision for the future. A leader must be prepared to regularly give voice to the vision and remind citizens of our basic, shared values. People of all generations want a leader who stands for something larger than their everyday lives. Ronald Reagan, in his farewell address to the nation, referred to

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