Leaders of Tomorrow: Dissolving Borders for 21st Century Education


  • Pandora Rupert Fort Hays State University
  • Andrew J. Bolt Fort Hays State University


Leadership Education, Leadership Development, Globalization


The paper considers the changing nature of leadership roles in increasingly globalized social, educational, and professional environments and the corresponding need for leadership education development. Historically unprecedented multinational conditions in these spheres call for similarly unique conceptions of leadership and leadership studies. The competencies that will be most valuable to the future are adaptability, self-awareness, cultural consciousness, collaboration and network-based thinking. We are now in the digital era, where business and organizational networks reach across oceans. Educational changes necessary to develop the leaders of the future. Previous understandings assumed leadership resided in individual managers. However, singular, centralized power figures are less viable in the digital age, as cultural and social commonality between leaders and followers can no longer be safely assumed. The research of leading experts such as Daniel Goleman, Robert Greenleaf, and the GLOBE project, the theoretical approach of servant leadership, and the authors’ experiences as international instructors of leadership majors in China are used to propose new models for ongoing study. The paper suggests that going forward, the discipline of leadership studies’ focus will need to become increasingly collaborative, inclusive, and adaptable. Contemporary definitions of leadership must reflect greater awareness of international perspectives, as a variety of different goals, worldviews, and understandings of power structures are newly required to cohere around mutually satisfying common visions. The leaders of the future will be faced with a complex set of tasks and aims that calls for a decentralized, international approach to organizational structuring.


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How to Cite

Rupert, P., & Bolt, A. J. (2015). Leaders of Tomorrow: Dissolving Borders for 21st Century Education. International Business Education Journal, 8(1), 6–14. Retrieved from https://ejournal.upsi.edu.my/index.php/IBEJ/article/view/1360