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  • Writer's pictureDr. Patrick E. Crawford

The Total Leader in 2024

Leadership Thoughts | Issue #144

2024 numbers

Reflecting on conversations with leaders in 2023, I noticed the heightened difficulties that arose after the pandemic. Intrigued by what leadership skills would be crucial for 2024, I conducted research using Google, ChatGPT, and Bing as resources. While sifting through various ideas, I ultimately returned to Total Leaders' five domains (Schwahn & Spady, 1998) and their enduring relevance. Despite organizational changes, these domains remain vital - openness to new concepts, adaptability, empowerment, and proficiency in dynamic situations. In this edition of Leadership Thoughts, uncover how these domains are essential for success in 2024 and the unprecedented challenges that await tomorrow's leaders.


Contrary to popular belief, authenticity in leadership is not about openly expressing unfiltered emotions. Instead, it encompasses specific characteristics that distinguish genuine leaders from others. First and foremost, authentic leaders have a firm grasp of their core beliefs, values, strengths, and weaknesses. They adhere to a personal "code of conduct" that guides their choices and behaviors. Additionally, they prioritize building a deep sense of trust within their sphere of influence as a critical aspect of authenticity.

Authentic leaders are trusted and respected because they have a strong sense of self and how it influences their leadership style. As we look towards 2024, these leaders must continue to improve their emotional intelligence by cultivating self-awareness, self-control, empathy, and positivity. This growth in emotional intelligence allows authentic leaders to convey kindness and understanding while holding themselves and others accountable.


Amidst the constantly evolving landscape of practices and beliefs, 2024 is a defining moment influenced by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Leaders with a forward-thinking mindset must not only accept but also champion and participate in advancing new technologies. As AI takes on more tasks previously handled by humans, these leaders guide individuals toward a future marked by improved teamwork, ingenuity, and imagination.

In this age of transformation, the concept of "learning organizations," championed by Peter Senge, becomes even more crucial, especially in light of technological developments like AI. As we move forward into 2024, effective leaders must be able to navigate the ever-changing landscape with finesse, finding a sweet spot between embracing progress and honoring tradition. This careful balance is essential for strong leadership, as it involves evaluating how new technology supports or hinders the organization's goals.

In 2024, visionary leaders must focus on technology and prioritize the well-being of every individual in their organization. They must cultivate a strong team to lead the organization toward a future characterized by advancement and harmony.


As we enter the new year of 2024, cultivating solid relationships becomes even more crucial. These positive connections are the foundation for steering organizations toward a unifying goal built on honesty and flexibility. However, not everyone has adapted well to the ever-changing landscape, leading to emotionally charged actions that can overshadow patience and civility. In this era of interconnectedness, leaders have a crucial role in creating an atmosphere of teamwork and open-mindedness.

Nurturing professional and personal connections is the core of success as a leader. In today's ever-changing leadership landscape, it is crucial to take an extra step in fostering these relationships. Leaders must actively guide others in identifying and mastering the necessary abilities to build and maintain positive relationships within their organization and beyond its boundaries.

In a society where technology has made us more connected but less emotionally involved, authentic connections built on trust, understanding, and mutual respect are crucial for creating strong communities. These genuine bonds foster cooperation, strength, and collective growth in 2024 and have the potential to shape future success for years to come.


The quality domain vividly illustrates the importance of leaders cultivating a culture of continuous improvement and implementing effective strategies. Quality leaders not only concentrate on enhancing the organization but also prioritize the growth and development of individuals. As we enter 2024 and anticipate the future, the landscape of continuous improvement is poised for a profound transformation driven by technological advancements and shifts in the nature of work.

As the work landscape continues to evolve, organizations are expected to adopt a hybrid model that combines remote work with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools. These technologies will enable teams to collaborate from a distance and provide interactive learning opportunities. Furthermore, advancements in technology, specifically machine learning algorithms, will be essential for analyzing large amounts of data and providing real-time insights vital for continuous improvement endeavors. Recognizing the significance of individuals' well-being and mental health will be integral to this transformative journey.

Moreover, the future of continuous improvement will witness the widespread adoption of agile methodologies and adaptive leadership styles. This shift encourages a culture that values experimentation and iteration while embracing failure as an inherent part of the improvement journey. Ultimately, building a culture of continuous improvement in the coming years will necessitate a harmonious integration of technology, inclusivity, adaptability, and an unwavering commitment to innovation.


The role of leaders is constantly evolving, especially in today's rapidly changing and innovative organizational environments. As a result, service leaders must provide strong support and empowerment to individuals and groups within their organization, enabling them to achieve the shared purpose and vision. Effective leaders must also prioritize their commitments to their employees and utilize adaptable strategies that promote employee strengths and cultivate teamwork. This approach allows leaders to take full advantage of opportunities and effectively allocate resources.

True team empowerment requires more than just delegating tasks; it involves cultivating a sense of ownership and autonomy, which fuels a collective determination to achieve a shared goal. Effective leaders foster an atmosphere where diverse viewpoints are not only accepted but encouraged as crucial for fostering innovation and promoting creative ideas. This sense of empowerment becomes the driving force behind increased motivation and confidence among team members, empowering them to make meaningful contributions to the larger vision.

In a constantly shifting world full of obstacles, a leader's dedication to promoting empowerment and offering support is crucial for unlocking the full potential of their team. Not only does it lead to immediate achievements, but it also lays the foundation for sustained growth, adaptability, and the attainment of collective objectives. As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, leaders must embody versatile qualities - making decisive choices while fostering cooperation, upholding core principles while embracing diversity, asserting authority while empowering others, and carefully evaluating individuals to guide their progress and advancement. This multifaceted approach enables leaders to navigate complexities and drive success in an ever-changing environment.

As we enter the year 2024, it is clear that leaders hold a crucial role in empowering individuals and groups to achieve shared goals. Leaders must proactively refine their leadership skills to excel in this new era. Leaders must prioritize continuous learning and encourage adaptability. This involves addressing emerging obstacles, embracing different perspectives, and adapting leadership styles to meet the ever-evolving needs of society.

Lead with purpose and inspire collaboration to drive transformative leadership in 2024. Are you ready to take on the challenges of this era of optimization and innovation?



Schwahn, C., & Spady, W. G. (1998). Total Leaders.


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