The editors conclude with directions for future research as well as benchmarks for university global leadership programs and study abroad initiatives. This volume is a wonderful primer for anyone tasked with designing and assessing global leadership development programs for students. The Advances in Global Leadership series, with its finger firmly on the pulse of this exciting field, is a must-read book for scholars and practitioners alike.
It has consistently been a benchmark of fresh and insightful scholarship that makes sense and provides value to those of us who grapple with the challenge of bringing to bear robust behavioral science to real world issues. Mobley, Wang and Li have again brought together an excellent group of authors to illuminate this timeless and ever more critical subject". Mathew J. Publisher Niall Kennedy nkennedy emeraldgroup. This publication adopts the Emerald Publication Ethics guidelines which fully support the development of, and practical application of consistent ethical standards throughout the scholarly publishing community.
If you are a subscriber, please follow the link below to access your subscribed content. The significance of German unity was well understood by Napoleon, who successfully dissolved the empire a thousand years after its birth. It was understood by Hitler who tried to revive it, by the Russians and Americans who divided it, and by Gorbachev and Kohl who presided over its reunification. History books commonly describe the League of Nations as a failed attempt and its leader Woodrow Wilson as a failed leader.
But, in fact, the key elements of the League were carried forward by its successor, the United Nations. Many of the same people who had fashioned the international administration of the League migrated and took up similar positions in the UN and implemented similar ideas. The League was not a failure, but rather a preliminary experimental attempt at international governance that could not succeed until global public sentiment arising from the monstrous suffering of the Second World War had exhausted the ambitions of nationalism and the energies of aggression.
Wilson was not a failed leader, but simply one who voiced a call that would gain acceptance two decades later. Humanity looks to strong leaders to guide it through challenging times. Great individual leaders arise in times of great crises and transition points such as the American Revolution, the Second World War, the movement for Indian Independence, the Civil Rights Movement, and the end of Apartheid. But a closer analysis reveals that great leaders are themselves the products as well as the catalysts of the awakening of the societies in which they arise.
Outstanding individual leaders and aspiring social collectives are complementary forces. Leaders arise to give conscious expression to emerging social ideas and ideals. The most visionary of those leaders come to prepare society by projecting seed ideas that take root and blossom afterwards. Today that vision is obscured by confusion and dampened by widespread pessimism. New leadership is needed to both project and respond to a clearer vision of the future humanity aspires to realize. Leadership always takes place in a context.
No matter how great the individual leader, the results always depend on the readiness of society to respond. That is why we witness so often throughout history the gathering of great leaders at particular moments in history, rather than their equal distribution in space and time. Indian Independence was similarly blessed by a confluence of outstanding individuals at the same moment in time—Gandhi, Nehru, Rajaji, Patel, and Prasad are only the better known of them. So too, Churchill, FDR, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini—though very different in personalities, values and aspirations—were all the product of the same age and forces which compelled global society to make the first tentative transition beyond the nation-state.
To truly understand a single instance of leadership we must be able to trace it back to its distant origins in thought and in the conscious or unconscious sentiments of the society in which it occurred. In the early days at Apple that role was played by its co-founder Steve Wozniak, a brilliant and creative engineer who pioneered the personal computer. In many ways Jobs was a typical American of this period. He was born and raised in a country that worships mechanical inventiveness. Americans made building, repairing and playing with machines a national pastime. Jobs grew up during the early days of the transition from mechanics and electricity to electronics.
He was a product of the Hippie Movement, which valued personal freedom and individuality and feared authority and conformity above all else. He understood the deep anxiety generated among youth by the idea of huge mainframe computers running the world. He saw the PC as an instrument to empower the individual rather than dominate and replace him. The release of the Macintosh in was hailed as the start of a spiritual revolution. Even more than the products he created, Jobs became an icon and visionary leader of creative individuality.
With the birth of the World Wide Web, he saw the possibility of making the PC a part of a global interconnected system. This led to the introduction of the iPod and transformation of the music industry. That same vision gave birth to the iPhone and iPad and made Apple the most valuable company in the history of the world. It is noteworthy that the acts of leadership by FDR, Churchill and Gorbachev were very largely conceptual, at least during their initial stage.
They perceived the challenges they confronted differently than others did and succeeded in communicating their new perception to other people. FDR had the insight to understand that the root cause of the US banking crisis in was psychological, not economic or financial, and that the only effective remedy was to change the way people thought and felt.
Unable to impose radical reforms, he did the next best thing. He opened the windows to the world so the Soviet people could see for themselves what the rest of the world was like. That awakened an aspiration and released a movement which the force of authoritarianism could no longer contain either in the USSR or its satellites. History extols Abraham Lincoln for abolishing slavery in America after defeating the Confederate army in the Civil War. But this is a short-sighted view of a great achievement. The right to freedom had been growing in Europe for centuries before it was enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence.
Its application to black Africans spread with increasing rapidity from onward. A growing movement against slavery began in Europe and gradually spread around the world. At first, nations banned slavery in the home countries, then they banned the slave trade, and finally they banned slavery in their colonies. By the time Lincoln came to power all of the northern states in the USA already had laws banning slavery.
Freedom is a fundamental and universal value that has fueled revolutionary movements for millennia before the ancient Israelites sought to escape from Egypt. Throughout the world, the call for freedom originated at the higher levels of society when the powerful and privileged demanded recognition of their rights, as the feudal English barons won concessions from King John in the Magna Carta. Values such as freedom, equality, rights, truth and self-determination have played a powerful leadership role for as long as human beings could think and act for themselves.
These values are enshrined in the demand of the American colonists for no taxation without representation, the Communist Manifesto, and every revolutionary and evolutionary movement founded on the aspiration for greater human rights and dignity. On becoming Prime Minister, Churchill did not consult his cabinet or parliament or conduct a referendum to determine the will of the people to fight the Axis Powers.
He consulted his own deepest perception and feeling and spoke on behalf of the entire nation. The magnificent response of the British people to his call shows how well he had understood and how deeply his words gave expression to their determination. Individual leaders, ideas and social readiness are essential determinants, but they are not adequate in themselves to account for remarkable acts of leadership.
Organization is another critical ingredient. The leader may inspire the people, awaken their aspiration and release their energy, but no leader can accomplish without the instrumentation of organization. For Washington that organization was the Continental Army which he led throughout the American Revolution. For Gandhi it was the Indian National Congress, which had been founded in the late 19 th century but was shaped by him into an effective vehicle for independence. In some cases, the organization appears to be of paramount importance and the leader of secondary significance and in others the appearance is reversed.
But in all cases their complementary roles are of vital importance. In the mids, India faced the threat of dire famine, which FAO predicted could lead to 10 million deaths or more. Subramaniam was a senior Congress political leader from the days of the freedom struggle who came from a farming community in the South. Asked to assume responsibility for averting the imminent threat of massive starvation, he declared in Parliament the goal of making India self-sufficient in food grains within five years. To a nation habitually dependent on massive food aid from the West, his proclamation was met with laughter and derision, even by members of his own party.
But he did not stop with proclaiming a goal. He followed through by creating a host of new agencies designed to support the rapid transformation of Indian agriculture, including organizations for hybrid seed production, fertilizer manufacture, warehousing, marketing and distribution of grain surpluses to deficit areas, and a commission for ensuring remunerative prices to farmers.
The farmers did. His strategy was based on an understanding of the psychology of uneducated farmers and finely tuned to win their support and released their initiative to enhance production. The country was already exporting surpluses by the early s. What began as an idea in the mind of a visionary leader, acquired power through development of a new social organization and resulted in a broad-based social movement of the whole society.
There are countless examples of this type—many of which achieved their goals without any support or involvement of government. In time it transitioned into a mass social movement that captured the imagination of the enormous urban population of the whole country. Sometimes a movement can be unleashed by the token initiative of a small group, formal or informal. The publication of Limits to Growth by the informal group of concerned intellectuals who called themselves the Club of Rome became a powerful voice of the global environmental movement. Since its publication in , the book has sold more than 30 million copies in 30 languages.
The report became the first serious intellectual challenge to the dangers and unsustainability of mindless, wasteful, resource-intensive economic growth. The prize was awarded for their efforts to outlawing the use and possession of nuclear weapons which led to the landmark Advisory opinion of the World Court. But leadership is not confined to the acts of great individuals or organizations. Sometimes the movement rises from a tiny spark and grows into a major conflagration because the time and conditions are ready for a small token act to set it off.
When the driver of the bus informed her that black passengers needed to move further to the rear of the bus to accommodate white passengers in front, she simply refused to move.
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A local clergyman named Martin Luther King seized the opportunity and took steps which led eventually to the abolition of all legal forms of racial segregation and discrimination in America. In , the Free Speech Movement began at the University of California at Berkeley as a demand of graduate students for a voice in university governance. The movement had a few informal leaders but no formal organization or structure. Soon confrontations between demonstrators and teargas-wielding police became a frequent occurrence.
The demands of the protesters grew more intense and soon spread to encompass anti-Vietnam War protests, the rights of women and blacks, environmental protection and many other causes. Within four years, campus protests had spread from Berkeley to campuses around the USA, overseas and even behind the Iron Curtain. In some instances, we remember the leaders and in others we soon forget them, but the process is the same in all cases. It begins with an inspiration, a vision, a value, an aspiration or an idea in the mind of one or a few people and gradually grows in reach and intensity until it captures the minds and hearts of many individuals and groups, institutionalizes itself through one or many formal or informal organizations, and reaches out and down to permeate the society of which it is a part and a leader.
Leadership is a process, not merely a person. The history of leadership confirms that even in cases where there appears to be no scope for effective action, token initiatives can be remarkably powerful. But when Gandhi called on the people of India to march to the seashores and make salt in violation of British law that taxed this commodity, he demonstrated a way in which the entire nation could reject British authority without firing a shot. Alarmed by his success, the British kept him in prison until he got malaria and then they quickly released him for fear that they might be blamed for his death while in prison.
An infectious mosquito proved as powerful as an armed prison break. These historical examples illustrate the twin dimensions of leadership—leadership as a person and leadership as an act or a process. These two dimensions are inseparable. They always appear together. All acts of leadership originate in the mind or heart of an individual or small group, however long in the past they may have been. All acts of leadership mature only when the ideas, values, goals, aspirations and intentions of the leader awaken and release the energy and inspiration of other individuals, acquire the power for implementation through organizations, and express in the general movement of the community, the nation or world.
True leadership results in a complete act that encompasses all the stages from conception to execution and achievement of results. Leadership is the instrument for all new feats of accomplishment, development, creativity and social evolution. Leadership may be an initiative from above by a fresh act of conception in the mind of a representative individual which is progressively translated into action by society.
Or it may be initiated from below by the emergence of an unconscious aspiration in society that gradually seeks for means to find self-expression through receptive individuals who give voice to the aspiration of the collective. However it begins, it always encompasses both ends of the spectrum which are inseparable.
The ideas of a unique individual do not acquire the power to move the society. It is the ideas of the representative individual who gives voice to what the collective is silently aspiring for that are received and followed by others. Leadership occurs at many levels and in all fields of life. Mental leadership gives rise to new ideas in philosophy, new scientific discoveries and technological innovations, and forms of creativity. Social leadership gives rise to new organizations, systems and social innovations.
Physical leadership gives rise to new types of actions, such as the explorers who discovered the New World in their quest for a route to India. Physical leadership seeks to satisfy needs. Social leadership seeks to acquire greater power. Mental leadership seeks new ideas and knowledge. Spiritual leadership seeks to affirm higher values. The spiritual leader is a definer of values. The qualities of leadership have been a favorite subject of historical research and popular management books for decades. Stereotypes about leadership pervade all national cultures and have been shaped by history, literature, legend, the media and, most especially, modern cinema.
The American stereotype of the self-reliant, masculine cowboy hero who never shrinks from a fight and never loses is pervasive, though the greatest and most revered American leaders—Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR—do not at all fit that description. So powerful is this mythical image of the strong, aggressive leader that the presidents of the two most militarily powerful nations—Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin—both portray themselves in similar terms and are lost in mutual admiration.
Even in the corporate world, this persona is far from the norm. Rather they tend to be quiet, modest and deliberate. They are the ones who have the combination of humility and professional will. They think long term and pursue the welfare of the organization rather than their own personal benefit.
Their defining characteristic is the willingness to take responsibility for their actions and those of their team and accept the consequences. Leaders inspire others. Egotists offend all but their sycophants. Egotists seek positions of prestige and work of importance. Aspiring leaders accept all the work that needs to be done, however mundane, and execute it so perfectly that it becomes extraordinary.
They make every work they do important rather than seek importance. Recognition and prestige come as a result. Napoleon has been ranked among the greatest military leaders of all time and extolled for his keen insight, acute perception and rapid decision-making. But the real key to his military success was psychological. As Clausewitz observed, the most important characteristic of great military leaders is not physical bravery, but moral courage—by moral, he means the psychological courage to accept responsibility for decisions, no matter how grave the consequences.
They take consciousness responsibility for what others say and do with or without their knowledge and permission. This capacity is among the most demanding and difficult for human beings to acquire because it eliminates the option of looking for scapegoats, vilifying and passing the blame onto others. The psychological intensity required to adopt this attitude marks an individual as extraordinary and qualified for leadership potential.
Great leaders not only accept responsibility, they are exhilarated by the challenges they confront—as Churchill reportedly felt when he heard that France had surrendered to the Nazis and England had to stand all alone in the war.
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They also exhibit the capacity to pass on that inspiration to others. Napoleon believed and demonstrated that the psychological attitude of an army is at least three times as important as its physical numbers. This is not merely the stuff of legends and history. Great political and business leaders and team leaders in sports and social work exhibit the capacity to multiply the effective strength of their forces many times over their paper strength.
The leader is one who can evoke that spirit in his or her followers. High energy is a notable attribute of great leaders. Energy is the result of aspiration, of willed determination to accomplish. The source of that energy in the leader is not limited by individual capacity.
It is universal. The awakened aspirations of the society are an unlimited source of energy for those who know how to tap it. The energy expressed by leaders arises from the ability to identify with and tap into the universal energy of those they lead.
Great leaders come alive when they face an audience of their followers or command vast numbers for a great enterprise, as Mahatma Gandhi, Churchill, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs came alive in front of huge audiences. The larger the numbers, the greater the energy released. That capacity for identification is not merely mental. Political and social leaders forge a vital, emotional relationship with others and expand by the exchange of energy, just as intellectual leaders thrive on the energy of intellectual exchange with others and great athletes and warriors are energized by the physical danger of combat with opponents.
The age-old debate about whether leaders are made or born overlooks the importance of social context in the making of a leader. In undeveloped societies with low levels of organization and little support for individual development, native capacity and family background are the most important determinants. In highly organized modern societies which systematically develop their organizational capabilities and the capacities of their individual members through education and training, nurture becomes a more important factor than nature.
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During the s Silicon Valley startups were populated by large numbers of former IBM executives whose former training and experience qualified them to effectively lead new organizations. Qualities of leadership also vary depending on whether the field of expression is mental, social or physical.
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The capacity of the original thinker to pioneer new ideas requires an acute awareness of the explicit assumptions and implicit premises that limit current thinking. They develop an intuitive sense of the characteristic limitations of mental reasoning that prevent others from escaping the boundaries of the prevailing conceptual framework. Arthur Conan Doyle portrays this ability in Sherlock Holmes, who is conscious of the common pitfalls of logical deduction and has trained himself to avoid the mistakes made by Scotland Yard.
The physicality of our thought processes prevents us from perceiving what is possible, even when it is right around the corner. The predominant influence of the past and present on our thinking about the future explains why Gorbachev, Kohl and virtually everyone else with intimate knowledge of the situation failed to anticipate the sudden reunification of Germany until it was just on the verge of taking place.
It also explains why the victorious nations which structured the UN system in to preserve their power and preserve the existing colonial empires could not foresee or imagine that within a decade virtually all the great empires of the prewar period would disappear. Their stated intention had been to limit the number of new member nations, especially the smaller ones which would become an unwieldy collective impossible to manage.
The authors of the American Declaration of Independence had the mental idealism to proclaim the right of all citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at a time when slavery was legal and many signatories to that document owned slaves. Apart from the hypocrites, there were some like Washington who saw and believed in the necessity of abolishing slavery and had the temerity to proclaim their belief on parchment long before it could be realized in fact.
Subramaniam had the capacity to perceive and the ability to inspire India to pursue the goal of self-sufficiency in food grains. His commitment and enthusiastic determination to achieve it released the energy of his peers, set in motion the apparatus of government and motivated tens of millions of farmers to achieve it. Effective leaders must master the process of translating their personal perspective into the shared vision, values and goals of the groups they lead; releasing and directing the energies of other people to commit and powerfully pursue this direction; and either create or mold an organization to coordinate and channel those energies into effective action.
The vision, values, goals and organization may vary, but the process remains the same. Vital or social leaders also require the capacity to envision radical change and work for it. Without that vision, they cannot release the energy and determination needed to survive extreme adversity. The principal strength of vital leaders is this capacity to inspire and motivate other people to action and to develop and harness the power of organization to direct those human energies. FDR was extremely personable and a great communicator more than he was a great thinker, though his insight into the cause of the banking panic and feelings of the American people was deeply perceptive.
Churchill was far from inspiring in his personal relations, but he knew how to inspire the nation to unimagined feats of heroism. Gandhi proclaimed the lofty ideal of non-violence and persuaded the Indian people to embrace it, but his role in building the Indian National Congress was equally impressive. Who is a leader? Inspired individuals, ideas, values, organizations and social movements all play the role of leading the society forward in its evolutionary march. The quest for effective leadership in times of trial should encompass all these dimensions of the process.
In all cases the energy that drives the process is the energy of the collective in which the aspiration arises and which responds to the call of leadership. This explains the remarkable and seemingly miraculous impact that a single individual, idea, or event can have on the life of humanity. It explains the reason why one person can change the world—for though the conscious initiation may begin with a single person or event, it is really the energy of the entire collective that is ultimately responsible for the achievement.
Leadership and morality seem often to be in conflict. We cannot deny the extraordinary capacities of a Hitler or Stalin but are naturally reluctant to discuss them in company with a Washington, Lincoln or Gandhi. Yet accomplished leaders share many characteristics even when their values are opposite and regardless of whether their work is to destroy or to create. There are leaders that carry society forward and there are others that take it back. There are leaders who live for benefit of others and those who expect everyone to serve their own will and needs.
Over the last two centuries leadership has emanated from many different sources to project new ideas, ideals, values and initiatives to foster the development of global society. International organizations and diplomats, nation-states and national political leaders, visionary thinkers, peace groups, individuals and organizations of scientists, lawyers, physicians, and technocrats, the business community, think tanks, NGOs, religious groups, cultural organizations and many others have all contributed to global leadership.
Today new thinking and leadership initiatives are needed at all these levels. More than ever before, international institutions have a critical role to play in global affairs, as demonstrated by the recent initiatives on climate change, the SDGs and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Still, much greater progress is needed to halt and reverse the erosion of multilateralism. Urgent efforts are needed to formulate coherent concepts and strategies for the emergence of effective global leadership in the 21 st century. The emergence of international institutions during the 20 th century was the result and response to the suffering and waste inflicted by two horrendous world wars.
What we do now will shape the course of what is to come. Much can be done by existing international institutions to enhance their internal functioning and external impact. Strengthening that awareness and building commitment are vital. The adoption of the 17 SDGs by the entire world community is a rare and remarkable instance of mental, political and social leadership at the global level unprecedented in its scope, depth and significance to the future of humanity. The readiness of the world community to accept these goals and the infectious energy with which it has inspired countless organizations to work for their realization is a measure of the social preparedness of humanity for a quantum leap in human development.
The persistent efforts of the UN over decades have been an important factor in creating that preparedness. The critical leadership challenge today is for the global community, its nation-states and constituent organizations to release the inspired energy and dynamism of its own people and that of other stakeholders at the global, national and local level for rapid and effective implementation of those goals.
What means and methods are available to develop the necessary leadership to achieve these goals? Global leadership can be achieved in multiple ways—through transformative ideas, inspired individuals, and progressive institutions. The essence of effective leadership is always a compelling vision of the future that can inspire and motivate people to positive collaborative action. Since aspiration is the driver of all human progress, the first step would be to raise that aspiration to the maximum level possible.
Our aspiration is an expression of our consciousness and our consciousness is a function of our awareness. Awareness of the potentials for high achievement is a great motivator. Even greater is the capacity to make real and tangible the anticipated benefits that high achievement will bring. One obstacle to achievement of the SDGs is the difficulty people encounter in even imagining how life would be on earth if and when Agenda is accomplished.
What kind of world will we be living in? How will it differ from the world of today? What will be the impact on the propensity for war, violence, drug addiction and terrorism when every job seeker has access to gainful remunerative employment opportunities and is equipped with the skills needed to qualify for them?
What will be the impact on fertility rates, population growth, mortality rates, healthcare, cultural understanding and tolerance when every human being has access to affordable quality education? What will be the impact on social stability, harmony and human security when inequality is vastly reduced to eradicate the tensions and frustrations arising from the blatant injustice and unfairness of prevailing social systems?
What will be the impact on human life and health when the pollution of air and water is eliminated? And, most importantly of all, we must ask what will be the result of achieving these goals on the peace, sense of ease and well-being of people who have outgrown the need to constantly struggle for their survival or compete with one another for greater material accumulation at the expense of their own psychological fulfilment and inner joy?
We do not have clear answers to any of these questions today. Indeed, we do not even ask the questions and seek to answer them. We know the SDGs are right and good in themselves, but how can we expect Agenda to fully release the enthusiastic energy of the entire global community to achieve them when the outcome of that achievement remains vague and intangible? A concerted effort to answer these questions, however tentatively and imperfectly, would be one concrete measure of leadership that can be collectively undertaken under the auspices of the UN by a community of stakeholders including national governments, academies, research institutes, universities, corporations and NGOs.
But energy is not enough. The 17 SDGs and specific targets do provide a general direction. But that is insufficient. For each of the goals and targets strategies need to be formulated and plans developed for implementation at the level of communities, organizations, nations and the world.
That still is not enough.