"What it Takes to Be a Great Leader" by R. Torres: Critical Analysis
As part of my second individual assignment for my Creativity, Innovation, and Teamwork module I am to watch a TED Talk on What it takes to be a great leader by Roselinde Torres, after watching the video I am to critically analyze the talk and its content.
From the get-go of the talk it is evident about her stance on modern leadership, she starts off her talk by saying “What makes a great leader today? Many of us carry this image of this all-knowing superhero who stands and commands and protects his followers. But that’s kind of an image from another time”. This is a very powerful, yet completely true opening statement. In today’s world, every aspect of every industry changes rapidly, and modern leaders have to be future-focused to account for these changes. This statement also coincides with one of the 3 things that she believes makes a great leader. “Great leaders are not head-down. They see around corners, shaping their future, not just reacting to it.” This brings us back to her opening statement of how a leader is not this clear-cut superhero figure but is someone who is open to change and can adapt easily. According to an article written by Brent Gleeson for Forbes, a good leader can prepare his employee for change by making sure that the employees’ mindset is prepared for several different outcomes as a result of change and by being transparent to them about why change will always be occurring.
In the talk, Ms. Torres also stressed the importance of growing good leaders within a company. She stated that she did research on over 4,000 companies and the results showed that 58% of the companies failed to grow good leaders which goes to show the importance of good leaders in business today. An article by John Rampton tells us key steps that need to be taken to grow leaders such as developing leaders early and challenging them. By challenging employees it prepares them for change, which can prevent future problems for the business such as the example given to us in the talk “the senior leadership team of a once-thriving business that’s surprised by a market shift, finds itself having to force the company to reduce its size in half or go out of business.” The senior leadership team was clearly not prepared for the market change as they were not future-focused.
Another question Ms. Torres poses in the talk is “Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?”. This tells us to be a good leader you must be able to be extremely adaptive. It also shows us that stubbornness is a major barrier to being a good leader. This is shown in an article by Ken Gosnell for Forbes. He says that the most common examples of leaders being stubborn are denying realities that you need to embrace and delaying decisions you know you will have to eventually make.
To conclude, being a modern leader is a very complex subject and is very difficult to break down but an article by Brent Gleeson breaks down what it takes to be a good leader in very simple terms. The key skills and activities for a leader are communication, empowerment, and inspiring others.
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