Chapter 1 The game has changed

The game we are playing has changed. The way we operated in business twenty years ago, even ten years ago, is different from how we operate today. Significant factors have driven a change in the way leaders communicate and inspire, with the ability to engage and influence now being one of the most important skills someone in a position of leadership needs to possess.

Every day, leaders need to communicate. They need to talk about everything from organisational strategy and values to messages of change. They have to deliver tough and unpopular decisions and they have to communicate triumphs and successes. They have to motivate, engage and excite. They have to ignite.

The reality is that this is becoming increasingly difficult, and skills used in the past are fast becoming redundant. Leaders need to not only be aware of this but also understand why this is happening — so they can then do something about it.

This chapter looks at some of the recent shifts that leaders need to comprehend in order to flourish and grow as leaders.

Understanding generation Y

By 2020, generation Y will make up the majority of the workforce. Many senior leaders I work with tell me that one of their biggest challenges is to manage and lead generation Y. But, as John Stuart Mill (an English philosopher and economist) once said, ‘That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation, often becomes the height of wisdom in the next’.

Generation Y includes people born between ...

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