communications key for leader

The Leaders Old Clothes…. #13 #cong21


We know what Leadership used to be, but changing world needs new structure & understanding of leadership.  Lived and demonstrated values more to the fore today.  Connectivity as a Service is the new transactional leadership

Total Words


Reading Time in Minutes


Key Takeaways:

  1. Leaders lead through their values
  2. Leaders leverage their time, connectivity and communication to move any organisation
  3. This is transactional in nature
  4. Communications is an underappreciated requirement

About Alan Costello:

Venture development/Investment, Corporate innovation driver @ Resolve Partners
Also supporting FirstFortnight and NaturalCapitalIreland, because why wouldnt I!

Contacting Alan Costello

You can follow Alan on on Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn or reach him via email.

communications key for leader

By Alan Costello

Leadership used to be about setting direction
Leadership used to be about having insight & analysis (sometimes novel) in order to define strategy
Leadership used to represent power, maybe represented as a pyramidical organisational structure that ‘flowed’ south….

Some of these things are still true.

But ‘new data = new direction’ and the function that has changed most in the last 30 years, maybe paramount to all others is connectedness.

As Jobs said, “Don’t you get it? – Its a phone, its a camera, its an internet device – its all in one”

The world and its parameters never stop changing – of course we have never lived in static eras and we know the pace of change is obviously faster every period of time you bracket.

This speed and quantum of change is driven by faster communications, which leads to greater shared learning and connectedness – moving from oral tradition to written, moving from relatively static tribal geographies to trans-global travel in a day.

The following factors need to be taken more into account by leaders than ever before.

Services are commoditised by globalisation and near instant learning availability and application.

Products are not far behind from a smorgasbord that includes supply chain optimisation on global scale and digital manufacturing. Even high IP products like medicines are becoming personalised on biomanufactured scaffolds.

The incredible enabler of ‘software eating the world’ has followed along its twin rails of cloud deployment and global ‘at-scale’ distribution, hurtling towards effectively infinite scalability.

The asymmetry of external factors competing for a leader’s internal and external PoV means that no longer does strategy and power gravitate to the central node/corner office. (same for industries too by the way)

A newly empowered population is competent and ethically aware, able to learn, be influenced and make new choices like never before. Society as a whole is also moving in similarly restructured fashion, which it has demonstrated experience in doing so previously – agrarian cooperation, nobility & empire, techno-civilisation, economic and political systems and more.

So our constructs of leadership are dead, long live the king –

Set direction – no longer without the influence of their stakeholder society
Insight and Analysis – available to all
Pyramid org structure – Ask Irizar how that’s going for them!

With factors like these in play and many more I am only ‘pub qualified’ to soapbox on, leadership needs to adapt. So far, so much obviousness!

I suggest that leadership today is about modelling values and communicating their narrative, more than strategic intents, power through wealth or populism or intellectual genius expressed through the lab or the code.

Leadership today is divining, distilling and modelling the values of an organisation, state or community and empowering others to act through that entity.

Leaders today won’t command and dictate, they are ‘simply?’, connective passages or conduits to change, those nodes and fulcrums through which we pass from one state to another.

Leaders should understand that ‘new data… – also means new narrative’. They need to be conscious of the constant lens and communication of their actions in setting behaviours/values/authenticity. Finally, leadership is far shorter today than it has ever been before. Leaders are transacting their leadership to organisations for a period of time (again see Steve Jobs/Tim Cook) and perform different roles at different times for the entity they lead (Musk – to strategy@tesla and mission@SpaceX).

In a Connected world, powered by Communications, the new model for Leadership is to offer these Twin C’s as a Service to their organisations

To those that can communicate, they shall inherit the earth!