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4D Leadership: delivering competitive advantage in a complex world

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Dr Alan Watkins took to the Future Talent 2016 stage to challenge delegates to a new way of thinking, and why they should reassess their leadership skills in the VUCA world.

Dr Alan Watkins challenged delegates to reassess their leadership skills in an increasingly VUCA world: “It’s interesting, the paradox of escalating change, yet some things never seem to change when it comes to leadership in the modern world,” he said. 

Watkins believes many leaders take a one-dimensional view of the world but that there are three key elements to becoming a great leader.

You must consider the ‘I’, the ‘we’ and the ‘it’ – who you are, how you are doing things, and how you relate to people,” he said. “Once you have established this sophisticated way of thinking, you can take it to the next level: the fourth dimension (Watkins’ theory of 4D leadership). 

Watkins pondered: “Authenticity is the most widely used word in the leadership literature. So, if you really don’t know who you are, how can you be authentic?” He argued that the power of the human spirit, diversity and emotional intelligence provide competitive advantage in today’s world.

“Most CEOs are still focusing on commercial performance, as that’s what they’re hired and fired to do. If you start to focus on yourself and take a multi-dimensional approach, you can truly transform your lives, experiences and organisations,” he said.

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