New year, new me! What do I need to become a better leader




Nowadays there are significant challenges for leaders all over the world. The definition of a leader has evolved and what before was considered good leadership, today it is different. As we have approached in previous issues, having technical knowledge, experience in business or even access to information technologies is not enough.

So a leader can develop and stand out, soft skills in business, empowering every collaborator in companies, time and energy management, engagement, and having emotional intelligence are important, amongst other things. With so much access to new trainings, we could be better prepared for what today’s world is demanding, however, this is not true.

Roselinde Torres, senior partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, conducted a research about the 21st Century Leaders. She found out the gaps of those leaders that don’t achieve success and what are doing right the leaders that succeed. Her research summarizes three main points that the leaders of the 21st Century must do:

  • Anticipation of change
  • Exploitation of the diversity in our contacts and networks
  • Leave the past behind and everything that has not worked for us


In our experience, as facilitators of change in companies, breaking with old habits, customs and mental barriers that impede growth is what constitutes a greater challenge for our clients. We are leaders in the 21st century when we anticipate what is coming, without blaming external factors that can put obstacles in our way. We are making a change when we are responsible for the communication with our network, in a world that is more diverse, and when we respect that diversity. As Albert Einstein once said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Leaving the past behind, who we are, to be better, is what makes great leaders today.


Personal accountability is a quality that sums up all of the above. This quality seeks a focus on results (and not excuses) and responsibility that goes beyond what we only have to do. It meets with the discipline of thoughts, the capacity for self-improvement and self- criticism, and congruency adding value at all times with what we say and do. To develop this quality, there are no recipes, only a strong will, beyond the limit that we put on ourselves. We do not have personal accountability overnight because we are trying to break with our old self.

The invitation is to begin to trace the way to become a real leader of the 21st century, through the development of personal accountability. The next five concepts, which are intimately related to this quality, will provide guidance to break the old habits that impede growth:

  • Discipline of thoughts
  • Overcome yourself every day
  • Focus on results (and not excuses)
  • Self-criticism
  • Add value to what you say and do


It is important to mention that this quality is contagious and replicable. To face today’s challenges, we need more people with higher levels of personal accountability. It is not easy, but it will be worth it.


A new me, for a new year!

By Alejandra Zárate

Consultant and Business Developer, GTC Consulting