Oakland University
Galileo Institute for Teacher Leadership

Invest 5 Minutes in Your Leadership: Reflect, Energize, Act
5 Dimensions of Leadership to Address Complex Challenges
"Today's leaders face multiple, interconnected challenges, from economic uncertainty to geopolitical fragmentation to the climate crisis. The complexity of these issues requires a renewed focus on what makes an effective leader."
  1. "Soul: Clear purpose"
    "Leaders need a clear direction in whatever they chose to do. The driving force behind this purpose may stem from deep beliefs or values that they aspire to live up to, or it may come from an ambitious vision they seek to fulfil."
  2. "Brains: Professionalism"
    "Leadership requires the competence and skills to successfully perform to achieve goals. Contextual intelligence is also essential, particularly now as we are living in such a fast-changing environment. Leaders must develop the systems-thinking capacity to see the big picture and connect the dots."
  3. "Heart: Passion and compassion"
    "The emotional force behind actions matters. It can often be challenging to succeed because obstacles can crowd out opportunities. but with passion for their work and its potential impact, as well as compassion for others, leaders can engage individuals, communities, and institutions behind a compelling commitment to a common goal."
  4. "Muscles: Perseverance to translate ideas into action"
    "Effective leaders provide the energy to drive outcomes and achieve impact. Purpose, professionalism, and passion can only go so far unless leaders also have the power and perseverance to execute on their ideas and see them through."
  5. "Good Nerves: Positive mindset"
    "All leaders encounter adversity, disruption and many other sources of stress. Resilience and a positive mindset are critical to mastering such situations and emerging even stronger."

"All five dimensions of leadership are required to successfully deal with the complexity of today's challenges. More than ever, we need to lead with soul, brains, heart, muscles and good nerves!"
Schwab, Klaus, "5 Dimensions of Leadership to Address Complex Challenges", Forbes, World Economic Forum, Leadership Strategy Jan. 15, 2023.
Klaus Schwab is Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
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