March 10 2007 - The 21st century requires people who are well-grounded and have multiple intelligences.
A keen intellect or the ability to manage metrics is not enough. To provide products and services, you have to
know how to attract and retain the very best employees across four generations of workers, to dialogue effectively
with others, and to bring innovative products to market faster.
Today's leaders must possess a powerful set of skills to survive the rapidly changing global
marketplace. To succeed, you must have a rigorous command of your analytical and strategic mind while also properly
leveraging your intuition and interpersonal skills. To excel in business, you must become a Renaissance Leader.
Introducing the Renaissance Leader
The term Renaissance means rebirth, re-awakening or revival. It describes a period between the
14th and 16th centuries where there was a wide-ranging cultural rebirth in Europe. While most of us think of the
Renaissance in terms of the flowering of the arts, it is also known for innovations in science, banking and technology. Figures like Galileo and Copernicus overthrew old dogmas, and explorers such as Cartier, Columbus, da Gama and Drake discovered distant new territories. Boundaries between fields became irrelevant, and innovators like da Vinci and Michelangelo made daily use of multiple intelligences.
Today, our changing world also demands explorers who question accepted truths, develop a wide range
of skills and bring into reality what had seemed to be impossible. Today's Renaissance Leaders use both their
analytical faculties and their intuition. They are as comfortable and skilled at developing relationships as
crunching numbers. They understand how to balance their head with their heart.
To navigate the seas of change, you must cultivate the whole mind and stay alert with all of your
abilities. At times the waters may seem calm, but hidden obstacles like icebergs or sandbars can cause a wreck if
you don't watch for them, and storms or strong currents can pull you off course. You'll drop an anchor from time to
time to explore new lands and assess what's needed in the next leg of the journey.
As a Renaissance leader, your own career and your company's success are not destination points
because you must always be charting a new course toward fresh horizons. Remaining in one place means you end up
The qualities for a Renaissance Leader include:
- Strategic and Intuitive Thinkers
A Renaissance Leader is adept at creating a shared vision across all areas of an organization.
They view change as a developmental process that requires understanding not just where they want to take their
company, but also their people, creating a holistic model for future success. Renaissance Leaders also take the
process of strategy development a step further than usual and consider the ramifications of national and
international developments in their thinking process, as today's world truly is a global marketplace.
- Vital Communicators
A Renaissance Leader recognizes the value of communication and can create dialogue throughout
the organization at all levels. Renaissance Leaders constantly work on their ability to manage their relationships
with employees and customers and strive to become skilled conversationalists, great listeners and adept storytellers
who approach situations with an openness that allows others to influence them.
- Talent Developers and Attractors
Renaissance Leaders value diversity in their organizations and recognize that people offer a wide
range of competencies and skills. They approach succession planning as a continual process and proactively look
for the next generation of leaders among their ranks.
Renaissance Leaders also place a high value on both education and coaching, and look at employee
development as a vital responsibility.
- Innovation Enablers
Renaissance Leaders are never satisfied with doing things as they've done them in the past.
Instead, they encourage creativity and innovation at all times and at all levels. Renaissance Leaders also embrace
change and allow themselves to take risks, using every situation as an opportunity for professional and organizational
As more and more new technologies arrive in today's marketplace, Renaissance Leaders especially
look for those that allow for improved communications.
- Ethical and Grounded Implementers
Renaissance Leaders are concerned with ethics and engage their companies with the utmost of
reverence for diversity, inclusion and integrity.
Renaissance Leaders also remain grounded and engage in some form of personal reflection as part of
their daily regimen.
- Avid Collaborators
Renaissance Leaders emphasize building strong teams where people contribute and encourage high
levels of employee involvement throughout their organizations.
- Global Entrepreneurs
Renaissance Leaders realize the economy is the major engine for creating change throughout the
world and devote their energies to improving the world around them.
In conclusion, developing the skills and abilities described here is actually a journey where you
continually devote time to your own self-development while you chart a course for future success in their
Not paying attention to these qualities can result in getting lost at sea in terms of your own
leadership journey. If you're up to the challenge of creating success in the future, it's time to consider finding
support to help you navigate the seas of change.
Jim Jenkins is founder and president of Creative Visions Consulting, a change management
consulting firm that supports CEOs, mid-level managers, and front-line supervisors in developing their leadership
potential. Jenkins has more than 20 years of experience in leading in the corporate world and managing high
performing teams, including clients such as AT&T, Nortel Networks, NRTC, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Jenkins is also
the creator of the Renaissance Leadership program, a coaching and development program to improve leadership skills
and team dynamics. For more information, visit .