“Leadership development in a Global context”? I asked, in a rhetorical way. With some 7 billion people on the planet, 197 recognised countries and 6909 recognised ‘living languages’, how the devil can you develop a leader to operate in a global context?
You only needed to look around the room at the international representation on this Strathclyde University program to realise the near impossibility of finding a one fit glove solution from the text books.
Without even scratching the surface of cultural differences it became very clear that the notion of developing leaders in a global context could only be addressed with the caveat of ‘think global, act local’. This took me back to 15 years of blue chip retail experience and the challenges of think global, act local when the company culture of authority fluctuated between centralisation and regionalisation with alarming regularity.
So the conclusion reached, was to buy in to a core set of leadership principles that provide the global cornerstones for locally applied behaviours. Warren Bennis, spoke of 4 cornerstones of leadership being Purpose, Hope, Trust and Results. The reason for listening to Bennis for me, is that he has consistently adapted his outlook on Leadership over the years to reflect the ever changing economic, social, political, global landscape, but has stuck with the 4 cornerstones throughout.