Hristos a inviat!
Below, Imagine Leadership by Nitin Nohria and Amanda Pepper of Harvard Business School’s Leadership Initiative. Nohria and Pepper collaborated with XPLANE to create this video in order to generate a discussion of the value and importance of leadership to address some of society’s most pressing problems.
“Corporations are not people…” says Klaus Bandisch (@friendsaround50) of Waikiki, Hawaii.
Global economic problems have revealed several underlying failures of modern society. Some represent recurring challenges ever bound to the human condition. Among them is the failure or lack of great leadership. It is an issue that cuts across borders, cultures, economies, industries and Hopes.
Here’s what we know: results and break-neck performance are king. And for good reason. We all love profit.
Here’s what we are starting to think about: Compassion and empathy are powerful management and leadership tools.
Business thinkers often fail, however, to emphasize that high emotional (or social) intelligence is when the heart can be applied to problem-solving with prudence and strategic practice. Alas, high emotional intelligence is not something you can easily grab off the shelf.
Crisis of Leadership
Leaders who care less about others find it easier to demand the impossible from others. They deceive and manipulate others without much or any conscience. Their betrayals, abuses, and failures tend to be cloaked in silence of their victims- but who really cares if no one is even willing acknowledge such issues. When they succeed, however, people of good intention and sincere contribution are scandalized and demoralized. The consequence is less total results and ever decreasing capability and commitment.
On the other hand, leaders who deeply care for others tend to get lost in gray questions. They also wait for others to give and contribute- as opposed to forcing the issue and getting it done. And they will wait long after things go wrong. The challenge of doing things the right way is that it often takes twice or more the effort, intention and heart.
If they are unwilling to make that extra commitment to do things the right way, they will always find themselves in the lose-lose at every step. And it sucks to be them. Big time. In fact, the results of emotionally-charged leaders tend not to impress – even if there is no loss of capability. Capability, of course, is not equivalent to performance expectations.
If we are to question the intentions and hearts of leaders, however, Board rooms and the market trends of investors will have to guide, support, and cherish the kind of leadership that does not end in confidence games – confidence games that play out only for the closest stake holders at the expense of human society and the common good.
For, certainly, if we all love profit and results, we all love perennial profits and results even more.
The Free Market (or Democratic Government) must not only pursue good conscience but, also, good will. It must be reminded that it is human and social endeavor and not a one-dimensional machine– because it is composed of human persons.
Corporations are nothing more than people. As are governments and other institutions. We must not forget this, Klaus. They and we share in a clear and common moral responsibility for our actions, our hopes, and our dreams.
But who shall lead and steer the Free Market to these seas uncharted?
How can we help and support compassionate, intelligent people in our organizations (profit, non-profit and government) to develop a higher emotional intelligence?
How will we identify them?
April 4, 2010
P.S. Happy Easter!
About Stan Faryna
Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.
Stan Faryna served as a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.
His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.
Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Copyright 1996 to 2009 by Stan Faryna.
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