21st Century Leadership Defined

Technology Is Changing the Game.

Every day we experience changes in how people live and work, how they lead and manage and communicate.

It’s not self-regarding for current generations to recognize that some of the results are novel, even unprecedented.

Tom Friedman, in a stimulating op-ed, “One Country, Two Revolutions,” points to the historic social changes unleashed by Information Age technology. He points to ongoing changes in leadership, management, and communications.

Serve to Lead argues that fundamental change in leadership dynamics is well underway. Now, in our time of astonishing potential for individual empowerment, Everyone Can Lead–Because–Everyone Can Serve.

21st Century Leadership has been redefined:

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Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs

Best Leadership Blogs

Serve to Lead is all about the new world of 21st century leadership.

There are a number of blogs that I admire and learn from. My take on the best is presented below, updated for Autumn 2013.

The list that follows includes entries focused on specific applications and competencies, as well as general leadership-related blogs. This is in keeping with the Serve to Lead approach of combining theory with practice, recognizing that both are required to achieve excellence.

Please comment and add your ideas for additional or alternative selections or categories. As is customary in the 21st century, this is offered as a living document, a work in progress.


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Welcome | Serve to Lead Blog

Theodore Roosevelt reads Penrod

Thank you for visiting the Serve to Lead blog.

This website is a living resource dedicated to your reaching your highest level of performance, and contributing your greatest value, in the new world of 21st Century Leadership, Management, and Communication.

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Take a Disruptive Vacation


Sometimes one must recline and reflect to spring into renewed, revitalized action.

Are you taking your vacation seriously?

Do you view it as a necessary part of your ongoing evolution?

If so, do you live your words, truly taking your vacations seriously?

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How Can You Best Serve Now?

The video of presidential candidate Senator John F. Kennedy, from the Jack Paar show in 1960, is memorable for several reasons.

There is the exceptional communication skill of John Kennedy. There is the respectful tone of the host and the studio audience. The cynicism and irony so omnipresent today have yet to appear.

Tempered by the national near-death experiences of the Great Depression and the Second World War, Kennedy and his audience tended toward an earnestness about service. How best to serve is a serious, life-defining question.

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Who Sets Your Standards?

80 year old climbs everest

credit CNN

Who sets your standards?

If you serve to lead at a high level, you’re envisioning futures that others can’t yet see–or that they simply believe can’t be brought to life.

You’re challenging the received wisdom. You’re challenging reality as most perceive it. You’re complicating things for all those who have a stake in preserving the status quo.

What about your own life and work? Who sets your standards? Are you limiting yourself to what most people assume to be reasonable? Are your standards set by voices from your past–voices that may well be submerged and hard to identify with the passage of time?

Are you attempting to set standards of your own? Whether you’re doing this for yourself as an individual, or for an organization, or a larger group of any kind, who are you looking to for guidance? What’s the line between aspirational and delusional? How do you make that judgment?

This plays out in many situations. A recurring one today is how older people set new standards for how to live and work. This is a situation that will play out for years to come.

There is no precedent for the immense numbers of healthy older people worldwide. They are, necessarily, pioneers. They are exploring unfamiliar terrain.

If the specific issues they face are new, the kinds of thinking they are applying is quite familiar to all who serve to lead.

Perhaps Yuichiro Miura, Mick Jagger, and Geraldo Rivera can shed some light.

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Leaders and Partners

It didn't just happen.

It didn’t just happen.

Many people automatically think of leaders as isolated individuals. That’s got a kernel of truth, even in our digital, collaborative age.

Of course, leaders, by definition, don’t work alone. One of the most interesting models is the partnership. Many people have achieved excellence serving as leaders and partners.

The most effective partnerships bring together diverse, divergent talent. The results of the combination can be striking, creating something distinct–and demonstrably more valuable–than the sum of the parts.

Extraordinary partnerships–of individuals and/or organizations–don’t just happen. They can call upon management and leadership skills of the first order.

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The Success Essentials, 2d Ed | Daniel R Murphy

Success Essentials Dan Murphy

Daniel R. Murphy is announcing that The Success Essentials is now available on Kindle.

This outstanding offering, previously reviewed here at Serve to Lead in its first edition, is available for free for a limited time.

Limited Time Free Offer – Act Now–Offer expires in five days. 

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Work Smarter with LinkedIn | Alexandra Samuel


21st century leaders must constantly evaluate their social media presence and usage. Whether social media adds value or becomes a time sink requires ongoing vigilance.

So many choices–and so many different approaches.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are among the primary platforms by which many of us interact on an ongoing basis. For many, LinkedIn may be the most problematic. People use it in so many different ways. Is it little more than a digital Rolodex with a vanity component? Can it be a compelling relationship creation and maintenance tool? If you’ve not achieved significant value, is that a result of your usage–or does it reflect limitations in the platform?f

Alexandra Samuel, a social media strategist, speaker, and writer, is the social media blogger for Harvard Business Review. In her new e-book, Work Smarter with LinkedIn, Samuel focuses on how people can create wide-ranging, deep, and value-added business relationships.

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Would You Have Signed Declaration of Independence?

Which side would you have been on?

Would you have signed the Declaration of Independence?

Before you look up from your relaxing holiday rituals in appalled disbelief that anyone would manifest such egregious effrontery as to ask such a question, reflect on it:

Would you have signed the Declaration of Independence?

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