Scott Eblin – You Can’t Lead Through Text Messages

Last Thursday night, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion on leadership at a celebratory dinner for Eagle Scouts past and present. The panelists were all accomplished people and had a lot of interesting reflections and insights to share.

One comment from the dinner that I’ve kept thinking about came from retired Rear Admiral John Butler who’s now an executive with Lockheed Martin. The last question I asked the panel was, “What do you think has changed in the practice of leadership over the past 10 years? What changes do you predict in how leadership will be practiced in the next ten years?”

Looking back at the past ten years, Butler has noticed the emergence of what he calls a “kinder, gentler” approach to leadership. His recollection of the 1980’s and 90’s was that it wasn’t uncommon for leadership to be about how loud you could yell and how close you could get to somebody’s face while you were doing it. He’s noticed that the practice of leadership has become much more collaborative over the past ten years and believes that’s a good thing. (See Tom Friedman’s recent column in the New York Times for a similar point of view.)

More of the Next Level blog post from Scott Eblin