PHOENIX—If you believe leaders must be outgoing, success-driven and positioned at the top of the corporate ladder, it’s time to update your thinking. Today’s leaders are often reserved, energized by failure, and have roles all over the organizational chart, including at the bottom. While they are powerful, their strength and influence come from the inside out, not the other way around.
“[We live] in a world where traditional authority has less and less currency, where prescribed roles are less and less relevant,” said Polly LaBarre, founding member of Fast Company magazine. Technological advances and demographic changes have accelerated the speed of business to the point where bureaucratic top-down leadership models no longer work very well.