The Transleader: Strategy, Leadership, and the Soul

One of the big ideas being bandied about in recent times is the interaction of strategy, leadership, and the soul of organizations which when they work in tandem can create exceptional leaders in the 21st century business landscape. This is the premise of the book by Sertl and Huberman who have theorized that for leaders to be successful in the 21st century, they need a blend of strategy that is rethought every now and then, leadership that is dependent on sensing relevance in all areas of life and business, and finally, the integration of the values and inner beliefs of the individual with that of the organization. The point here is that for leaders to succeed in the 21st century landscape, an integrated model of leadership is what is needed and which Sertl and Huberman propose.

To take the first aspect, strategy in this model of leadership is ever changing to reflect the fluid marketplace where a rapid turnover of ideas, fads, and trends means that strategy has to be continuously refined and rethought.

Strategy in this case is not merely something that is drawn up every few years and then followed irrespective of the changes in the external world. Instead, strategy changes with each relevant change of the trends. Note the emphasis on the term relevant as strategy cannot change with each passing fad or trend and instead, the leader must evaluate the relevance of the trend to his or her business and then strategize accordingly. Moreover, there needs to be a dynamic strategy in place to tackle any tectonic shifts in the business world and hence strategy must not be static.

Next, leadership ought to be responsive to complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty. There is no point for a leader to be smug in the confidence that he or she knows every detail of the business and hence does not see the need for working through these aspects.

The days of leadership based on knowledge and experience is outdated, as the “transleader” needs to be transformational in the sense that he or she should combine knowledge and experience along with an intuitive understanding of the three aspects listed above. The point here is that the Transleader must be able to intuit and sense the changes in the external world and react and respond accordingly.

The third aspect, which is revolutionary, is that the Transleader must be someone whose inner values and beliefs mirror that of the organization and vice versa. Only through this integration would the organization’s power and efficiency would be leveraged and the leader and the employees can find success and fulfillment in their careers. The point here is that the alignment of this “soul” across the customers, employees, and business partners is a fundamental necessity for the success of the leader and the organization. In conclusion, the organizations of the future would have transleaders who can play a transformative role and by reenergizing the soul of the organizations, they can lead them to greater successes.


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Leadership