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Redefining leadership

Leadership is not about the size of your office or having formal authority. Leadership 2.0 is a mindset, a way of being – the way we operate through the days.


I once had a boss who reminded me he was the CEO 17 times over in a letter he wrote to me. I recall how that capitalised abbreviation stood out against all other small letters in the two-page letter, which left me wondering why he needed to emphasis that he was the CEO.

The old model of leadership taught us that to lead meant having a prominent position, a big title, a big office ‘and high authority. So much has been written on leadership over the years ‘and yet, just as much as technology has changed the way we do things, so has the definition of leadership.

Welcome to Leadership 2.0. If you want your company to win, your team to thrive, your craft to improve you must learn to show brilliant leadership even without carrying a title.

So, what is Leadership 2.0?

Great leadership is difficult to pin down to a singular thing or even to underst ‘and in its entirety. You know a great leader when you work for one but even then, if you asked them what makes them great leaders, they can have a tough time being specific on what they do that makes their leadership effective. Leadership is not about the size of your office, or having formal authority.Leadership 2.0 is a mindset, a way of being – the way we operate through the days.

Each of us today has the opportunity ‘and a responsibility to show leadership, not only in our work, creativity, influence or impact but in our personal lives.  They say, “Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders…they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role – always about the goal.”

And even the finest of leaders know to become better at what they do they must be dynamic, expansive ‘and adaptive. In fact, adaptive leadership skills are what set great leaders apart ‘and they represent the otherwise intangible qualities that great leaders have in common. This entails a combination of skills, perspective, ‘and guided effort that enable true excellence ‘and these adaptive skills can take a leader at any level to places others cannot go.

Adaptive leadership is….

1. Emotional intelligence

This is a set of skills that capture our awareness of our own emotions ‘and those of others ‘and how we use this awareness to manage ourselves effectively ‘and form quality relationships.

2. Organisational justice

Great Leaders are not afraid of the truth. They know how to integrate what people think, what they want to hear ‘and how they want to hear it with the facts. This makes people feel respected ‘and valued.

This is all part of Leadership 2.0, whichis about our way of thinking. It’s an approach. Today we observe our leaders in politics ‘and can clearly tell great leaders from the not so great leaders. Similarly, you can observe people – from the cashier serving you at a supermarket counter to a cleaner, receptionist or security guard – ‘and pick out great leadership aspects by the way they carry out their work or respond to you.  What this means is that regardless of what you do, no matter your position, you can make a choice to start thinking like a leader when you go out in the world every day. The more you practice showing leadership in your work, with your family in your community ‘and in your private life, the more your performance as a leader grows ‘and the more you install the mindset of leading without a title.

The other aspect of Leadership 2.0 is growing other leaders. The best leaders grow more leaders; in fact that’s their job – to develop others around them to become leaders. What this looks like at work is collaborating with someone who needs some collaboration or modeling mastery. At home that may include mentoring your children, exposing them to art ‘and great books ‘and simply being a positive force in your home life. That way you grow forces of other leaders in your household. Inspiring other people when you are inspired is a great leadership quality.

If you look at leaders like Steve Jobs, Nelson M ‘andela, Sergey Brin, Elon Musk ‘and locally acting Education Secretary Fred Matiang’i, these were or are incredibly inspired leaders ‘and by extension inspire others.

If you can influence other people by your mindset, your productivity ‘and your language ‘and create an impact on them through action no matter your title, then you are leading ‘and winning. So, regardless of what you do, see it as a craft ‘and deliver world class value always.  Go be great;go Lead!

Pauline Macharia is the Strategy Director, Ladybug Technologies.


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