21st Century Leaders

Accessible, awake, quick, interconnected, and trustworthy are thought to be the five traits of a 21st century leader, lately, I’ve been discovering more about these traits, on a FREE course which you can join too! –I thought this blog post would be a great way of sharing details of this course for any students or graduates looking to enhance their CV.


Transitioning from being a student to full time employment was something I was always excited to begin – while some of the perks included the novelty of a new working environment and opportunities to engage in the ‘real world’, it still left me with an appetite to learn and continue developing my personal skills outside of work. Although I am fortunate to have secured a graduate role, I know some of you might be beginning to look for graduate jobs or be keen to find new ways of embellishing your CV. So, with an interest in seeing what free online training courses are available, I came across the Open Source Leaders training offered by Common Purpose. Specifically, the course aims to aid the development of successful future leaders, which I think is great for anyone interested in progressing into managerial roles.


I admit I was a little apprehensive about enrolling on the course as it would involve juggling the course content with work, but I was surprised to see each module was broken down into micro tasks which would allow me to easily pick up from where I had started. The course was also well designed to incorporate a mix of activities to suit the varied learning styles of those enrolled. This included written exercises, videos and articles which each contributed to my understanding of the topics.

To help you understand a little more about the course’s content, I’ve summarised the five modules:


Module 1, Interconnected: This explored how leaders can be outward facing which illustrates how leaders need to expand their own personal territories to society and the whole organization. It also highlighted that leaders must be willing to take ideas from these three sources.

Module 2, Accessible: The theme of this module was linked to leaders becoming accessible to break silos within organizations. This showed how a decentralised organisation would enable senior staff (leaders) to be viewed as approachable and by doing so it would encourage ideas to be shared.

Module 3, Awake: As it says on the tin, this is linked to be AWAKE – but in this context it refers o being awake to other peoples’ personal views and opinions. Encouraging leaders to be awake, enables others to be heard and their opinions / views to be considered.

Module 4, Trustworthy: As trust has become an issue in society from scandals such as Enron and Cambridge Analytica, this topic emphasises the importance of leaders being trustworthy.

Module 5, Quick: This module illustrated how leaders should embrace and adapt to technological disruptions such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. As both of these technologies are evolving the market research industry, it was interesting to learn about how individuals can positively lead these changes!

In short, the course is a great way of demonstrating and strengthening your understanding of leadership – why not take part?

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