Leadership of the Future: The Age of Innovation

Share this post | 3 min read


First Follower (2)

COVID-19 has changed many things for human beings and how we conduct business. We are re-thinking our offerings, services, products, even our organization's structure.


There are stories of panic and pain, of resilience and gratitude, of service, and hope all around us-- the stories of humans. We are entering into the age of uncertainty, of fluidity, of greatness.


Who will lead us into this new age? Are you prepared to lead out of the chaos and into the future? How will leadership be redefined? 

One of the first things I learned from a wise leader is no title or position defines or justifies my leadership. A leader is the one who leads oneself into the future, leads others to the future that they own. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to receive such wise offerings which allow me to inspire value-centered leadership in my teams and a benefit mindset in myself. The values that make and model who I am, where I am, when I am have deepen my purpose for being a human-centered leader.


Today, among the chaos, it is that inspiration that is very much alive for me. I am curious how you are inspired in these times of lack-luster leadership? How will you lead yourself?


A leader is known for inspiring others towards a vision aligned in purpose and values. A human-centered leader is known for inspiring self and others. This type of inspiration is achieved by building the capacity to allow other leaders to emerge, leading from values to the vision. Inspired by the Innovation & Leadership framework from DSIL, I learned by observing leaders on the world's stage that human-centered leaders focus on three essential things.

1.Self-care & Love and Compassion for Others:
The focus on self-care is paramount in innovation leadership. The best analogy that comes to mind is the instructions for managing oneself on an aircraft during turbulence. Place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. The idea is straightforward: you have to survive (thrive) first in times of difficulties before you can lead others out of chaos. During these uncertain times, self-care comes in the form of meditation, connecting with friends and family, and being present.

2.Gratitude and Resilience:

The act of positively influencing the morale of self and others. A leader who draws inspiration from a place of gratitude and resilience is an inspirational one. These leaders uplift the energy in the room and shun the negativity that impedes others from moving forward. Creating the language of positive emotions to develop positive relationships intentionally will help the leader be viewed as a warm, approachable, and, most importantly, a relatable human.

3.A Purpose-Driven Vision for Self and Others: 
Aligning one's purpose with the collective goal is crucial to eliminate the conflict that leads to stress and contention in our lives. When conveying a problematic message that impacts others, delivering it from the angle behind the action will help others understand and be instrumental in the future.


Some examples of leadership that translates into simple acts:

  • Check-ins focused on positive emotions [joy, awe, hope, gratitude]
  • Virtual town-halls-no agendas just Q&As
  • Open [virtual] doors a few hours a week
  • Clarifying the purpose especially in times of turbulence
  • Being transparent with actions

Adapt & Thrive Summer Mini-Series provides your employees with the essential tools to cope and thrive while working from home.  


These behaviors create opportunities for leadership in plain sight and not behind closed doors [especially when we are all virtually behind Zoom doors] are essential for engagement and trust. When these aspects of leadership are demonstrated, the focus then shifts to desired outcomes (being human first included) instead of an internal battle, which only results in despair and misery. The values of authenticity, integrity, honesty, courage, respect, and openness become easy to live by, resulting in a culture of happiness, of collaboration, and simplicity.


Always count on showing up and show up as a human being first; this will make you a human-centered leader.

As we move into the future, digging deeper into our leadership style to evolve, I am sure the path will become clear on our journey to lead us to our purpose. The world needs human-centered leaders now more than ever!

What will be your innovation? How will you lead your team into the future?
                               JOIN FREE FOR 30 DAYS GROUP CULTURE COACHING

About the Author

Jyotsna Maan

Jyo Maan creates a deep sense of self and community for her clients by co-designing cultures of belonging through facilitation, social innovation, and leadership development. Over the last 15 years she has coached organizations to new levels of engagement, trust and happiness. The motivation behind this work comes from her challenges as a woman of color that led to a deep understanding of the value of inclusion and belonging. Jyo loves to be curious in all aspects of life.


Subscribe to our blog