2017 was a challenging year for many. But 2017 was also a year of impact and change, in which we saw the principles of servant leadership making a difference. For instance:
- There’s a hunger for change in the way we lead. We saw this firsthand at the Servant Leadership Online Training Summit—with nearly 20,000 in attendance from 146 countries—and in all the thoughtful comments and responses from people just like you.
- More business are redefining success as more than just shareholder return. B Lab hit its 10-year anniversary, and with it, many milestones. B Lab certifies B Corporations, which pledge to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency to build shared prosperity for all.
- The movement is gaining momentum. Just take a look at Forbes list of the top business books from 2017. While not every book on the list is necessarily aligned with the principles of servant leadership, the list is full of books that tout creativity, open mindedness, and leaders who endeavor to apply a "learn-it-all" mindset in place of the more traditional "know-it-all” mindset.
Now more than ever, leaders face the difficulty of a VUCA world—volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity—on a daily basis. As I look forward to 2018, I’m excited for the future of leadership in business, communities, and government. Here's what I'm looking forward to:
- The year of the new leadership paradigm. Leadership is outgrowing the old models, outgrowing leaders who tell instead of ask, of valuing profit over purpose.
- An awakening in the business world. Organizations have the chance to start doing more for employees, customers, partners, and the planet. Leaders can look inward to source the strength and humility we need to do our best work.
- This election year, with the most female candidates ever up for office. More women in leadership positions is good for everybody, including businesses.
And as servant leaders, we are at the forefront of this shift. We must continue to empower and support our teams to do their best work, to live the change we want to see in the world. I am thrilled to be a part of this movement with you all—and excited for all there is to learn in the year ahead.
What are you excited for 2018? Are you as hopeful as I am?