To become a successful leader in society in the 21st century you will need to display the following characteristics:
The courage to be different: A leader in society is someone who steps out in front and shows the way. This takes courage. If you have any fears around self-esteem, this is not something you will find easy to do. You have to have the courage of your convictions, and you have to be willing to be ridiculed. In other words, you have to have freedom from fear. If you are afraid of being judged, then you will never become a leader. A leader is someone who constantly challenges assumptions and allows his or her mind to go to places that no one has been to before.
Nurture your followers: It takes just as much courage to become a first follower as it does to become a new leader. Among, your first followers you will find those who will become the leaders of others. It will be important to recognise and nurture these people and all your followers in every way that you can. These are the people who are going to take your ideas and manifest them in the world.
A global “citizen”: We live in a totally interdependent world. To be an effective new paradigm leader you must lift your level of consciousness to the point where you are able to identify with humanity and the planet. If you are a political leader, you will need to see beyond the narrow self-interests of your local constituents, and your nation, to the needs of humanity. Your job is to live that reality, and remind everyone that you meet that we live in an interconnected global society. We are all in this together: we either we all win or we all lose.
A self-actualized individual: You cannot become a new paradigm leader if you are preoccupied with meeting your deficiency needs. You must work on becoming accomplished in leading yourself. You must be skilled in personal mastery. You must know who you are. You must have a deep and passionate desire to fulfil your destiny in the world by surrendering to your soul purpose.
Operate with a self-transforming mind: While you need to be very clear about what you stand for as a leader, you must never make the mistake of believing you are right. Always leave room for self-doubt. You must be able to look at your ideas alongside the ideas of others and choose from among them what makes the best sense. You must stay curious and adopt the attitude of a continuous learner. Blindly driving forward without being open to feedback is a recipe for disaster.
The new paradigm leader is a thinker rather than a doer; an architect rather than a builder, and a nurturer rather than a hero. The time for heroes is passed. The new paradigm leader leads from behind rather than in front. The new paradigm leaders serve their followers because they know that that is how they gain leverage in the world.
Chapter 23: Societal Consciousness