More than ever, executives in both the business and nonprofit community must practice the discipline not simply of management but of leadership.
Leaders in both the business and nonprofit sector are now confronting a number of common issues, including those related to the aging of the baby boom, diversity, the impact of technology, declining availability of staff and volunteer time, retraction and contraction of organizations due to shrinking resources.
These issues, evolving at warp speed, require solutions that extend beyond a simple questions-and-answer approach. In the modern problem solving approach, assume that the solution is a given but that undertaking that solution will be the challenge and will involve the efforts of the entire team.

Train your people to succeed
The solution will take us beyond simply addressing the expanding knowledge base required for high-level performance. Our work, if it is to be successful, will be based on a matrix of competencies and interpersonal skills that will empower individuals, whether they are working on a specific and immediate project or on their professional or personal objectives.
What are the challenges facing the modern management professional? How will leadership take us to the next level?
As intergenerational distinctions are drawn, executives will discover that leadership skills are a necessity. We cannot wait for our constituents to recognize the need to address the impact of these developments. We must bring them to an understanding now.

Adapting to differences is critical
Diversity is another issue looming large on the business landscape and, again, leadership from the professional will enable our constituents to find the benefit in working and relating successfully with people of difference, whether that be based on age, race, ethnicity, ability, technical competencies, gender or religious orientation.
The line in the sand separating the technological haves and have nots suggests that visionary leadership will be required to propel our society forward into the future while not forgetting those without access to innovation.
Our staffs face special challenges, given the decline of time, resources and man power. Only thoughtful leadership will ensure the continuation of service and the delivery of product, despite these challenges..Given the retraction and contraction of organizations due to shrinking resources, business and social issues, cultivating staff leadership will be essential in providing continuity and focus

Why does leadership elude us?
Why does good leadership, today's catchword, remain so illusive to so many of us? The primary reason is risk, the risk that comes with moving from traditional management modes (e.g., staff as servant; volunteer as follower) to one of leadership.
The leader must be open to criticism, must be willing to take a stand, must be better grounded in the issues facing the organization than ever before, must earn the respect of staff, volunteers and peers, must live in the future while working effectively in the present.
Through adequate programming and training, we can address the challenge of change and the risk of leadership. We can assemble and assimilate in fellowship the kind of meetings where ideas incubate and thrive in the laboratory of open debate and exchange.
Such professional support cannot be limited to those holding key executive positions. We must encourage our peers and subordinates to engage in the process, as well, so that they, too, will come to understand the leadership role, prepare for it, and undertake it successfully.
This is the future we should envision for our business and volunteer community. This is the future we can make happen by working together.

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