You don’t have to look far to find a book, a seminar or a website on how to be a leader, what a leader is, and what they even look like. The truth is, the list of characteristics of a leader in the future is actually quite short. As business becomes more and more human, so is the leader believe it or not.

I’m willing to bet that special person in your life, that person that influences you or gets your respect is not your boss. Most bosses have a problem with power and authority, they don’t know how to use it, they are truly bad at valuing people. They typically have a superiority complex, they are authorities on everything, it’s their way or the highway, there’s no compromise. I know you have a boss like that or you know someone like I just mentioned. There is good news though, business leaders are changing, if not today, they will be in the near future.

The leader of the future listens to whats going on, they realize it’s not about them, the also understand the Internet is not an echo chamber. They know the value of people, the conversation, they understand it’s first the fan (follower), then the customer, they know how to grow bigger ears. They have a good idea where the world is going, they understand brands have to be likeable and loveable in order to win in the digital marketplace. They also understand brands need to be human.

Making business human is the strong suit of the leader in the future, they know a brand is is a voice, a product is a souvenier, and that everyone brings value to the table, that the voice of the follower, the fan, and every person that visits their business is precious. The leader of the future knows that Social Media networks are the 1st listening platform to invest time in. That today online and offline are no longer different places, everything is being integrated to be social and mobile.

But the genuine authentic leader has 4 qualities:

1.) They Care on every level.

2.) They Believe in you – they want to be with dream makers, not dream killers.

3.) They are Fair, and they don’t play favorites.

4.) They expect Excellence at all time.

What are your 4 qualities the leader of tomorrow should have, what does your list look like?

In a group called TED Ideas Worth Spreading, a discussion on LinkedIn with Andrew Oduro Ayim, he asked an interesting question, If you had the opportunity to talk at TED, what would your speech be about and why?

I responded as short as I could:

I would share my passion as often as I can, for as long as I can, and I’m sharing that passion at The World Futurist Society Conference in July 2011 on The Future of Business – The Open & Free Business Model. It’s not what we do, it’s not a skill-set, it’s about how we think, it’s how business really is in our world. A world where Access trumps Ownership, a world where generations yet to come will and do not value ownership of home, ownership of car, they value life-style not a work-style.

Business owners still don’t even know what Social Media can do for them in my area, we are in for a world of hurt, the paradigm shift from closed to open is too painful.

What would you talk about?

Most of you believe that Klout & Influence are important, you want it, and you tend to work towards finding ways to get it. I warn you, be careful what you wish for, you may get it only to find you don’t want it. Everyone, and I mean everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame at some point in their life, it’s part of human behaviour, and especially in affluent countries.

In the future, the next 15 years or so, it is predicted there will be 1 Billion Millionaires in the world, that number isn’t really that impressive because, the population will be over 9 Billion when the time comes. The majority will not be millionaires, it’s just more of what we have today.

In the future of business you will hear a lot about Klout & Influence, social networks are measured with these two terms as a way of determining who’s who. Websites like Klout and others are trying to bring credibility to individuals through mathematical measurements, it’s a digital representation of one’s possible klout & influence, not something human and tangible like integrity. One’s character and integrity should be in the equation somehow, it should be part of Klout & Influence scores in my humble opinion. But how do you measure motive and or doing the right thing, not too mention keeping your word.

Now Klout & Influence are not always related to money, so the number (millionaires) at the top is pretty small. The thing about Klout & Influence is, it wasn’t meant for those who have it. Those who have Klout & Influence are merely stewards of it. It’s really meant for those who don’t have it.

Martin Luther King had Klout & Influence, but he didn’t use it for his own gain, he used it to make the world a better place, more specifically for people that were being exploited, murdered and abused. For all people, not just black people to be blunt.  This individual set an example of how Klout & Influence should be exercised, not hoarded and hidden away for private use, it was and is meant to help and serve others who don’t possess Klout & Influence. Unfortunately, we are greedy, we want more, and we want to be the one who says who can have what and when, we want control. I’m not convinced this is going to change anytime soon, it might change shape, but it will still be a problem for mankind for as long as we are on this earth.

Social Networks has brought out the kinder side of the human race for the most part, we genuinely want to help others, sometimes without expecting anything in return, but the dark side lurks. Unfortunately, there will always be those who take advantage of folks trying to make the world a better place.

The Future of Business, and success, will be measured by Klout & Influence, it’s the way we are headed, and it will be difficult to determine the true sense of the word success. It will be misleading at times, but I think it’s personal, we need to figure out how to link Integrity & good character into the equation. To ensure we are dealing with honorable individuals.

Your Klout & Influence should answer one question in your sphere of influence, your immediate world, How Many People Are Better Off Because You Lived?

Have you ever come across someone who articulates your thoughts better than you do? I am flabbergasted by Gerd Leonhard, it’s like he is reading my mind, and then puts it in words I could never have thought of, or deliver it in such a powerful way, it is a special treat to follow his work. I hope you pay attention, we share the same message differently.

He spoke recently at ictQATAR’s Connected Speakers Series, and the greatest description, the best quote I have heard to date to describe The Future of Business & Media. Please read it slowly and ponder the depth of his words.

“The future of business and media is all about interconnected business models that generate mutual benefits for everyone. The era of ‘egosystems’ such as walled, controlled, centralized and RoI-obsessed businesses, is rapidly closing. Now it’s all about creating powerful ecosystems that are built on openness, standards, transparency, trust and decentralization. Think Google versus AT&T, or Twitter versus FoxNews.”

Much change is coming, it’s impossible to prepare for all that is coming, but you can at least be aware and then make changes to lessen the blow. What Gerd is talking about here is a complete reversal of what we believe business is and should remain. As I have said many times, this paradigm shift is not about technology, it’s not about skill set, it’s about how we think. How we look at business as it really is in a digital world.

Please share your thoughts.