Culture cannot flourish if individuals do not sustain it. Whether it’s a beautiful or horrific culture, it does not exist without one individual after another choosing to support it. In other words, if one person after another shifts away from a set of practices and beliefs that are the core of any culture, that culture eventually ceases to exist. This doesn’t mean there is no society or company, but that surely the culture has vanished.
Honesty takes courage, consistency, and confidence. Great leaders don’t need to be perfect, but they need to possess a self-assuredness and fearlessness at all times that enable them to act truthfully, acknowledge their shortcomings, and admit their mistakes. Only then can they garner the respect of their team members and, by way of example, teach them to conduct themselves with the same level of integrity. Without a steady moral compass and a strong ethical backbone, it’s impossible to inspire, motivate, and encourage best practices in others. What I like to call “WOW leaders” do what’s right, not what they can get away with.
At work, time isn’t always on our side—especially in this new era where advanced technology, changing office environments, and differing attitudes about the way we do business has dramatically altered the landscape of the workplace. The days of sequestering yourself behind closed doors and telling your secretary to “hold all calls” are long gone, as is the ability to be “off the clock.” Today, technology has made everyone reachable at all times. Even if you’re not answering calls, you’re expected to be reading your texts and checking your email on a regular basis.
Toxic employees are trying to “take over” and create toxic workplaces. As a diversity trainer, sexual harassment prevention trainer, consultant, executive coach, and expert witness, for twenty five years now, so much of my work points to one emerging phenomenon – toxic employees, toxic workplaces, are on the rise!
The complex constellation of skills required for global leadership is continually morphing. The basic leadership competencies are only an axis around which revolve the specifics of local culture and the
analytics of the target culture globally. Therefore, not only does the knowledge management evolve, but so does the audience for global leadership development. At one time, the audience was primarily executives involved in international relocation. Over time, that group widened to include those who work with them: Human Resource departments, Supply Chain groups, and professionals with frequent contact, particularly in the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Today, in order to stay competitive in this environment, virtually every nation on the face of the planet is extending their global leadership training into new arenas. A key area is our youth, brought up on the internet with its impersonal speed and no-holds-barred communication style. The question now becomes, how can we capture the imagination, thought processes, and commitment of potential leaders in an arena with few quick answers or short tweets.
“Real men don’t take paternity leave,” said Robert on CNN’s Facebook page. When reminded by a commenter that it’s no longer the 1950s, Robert responded: “I wish it were the ’50s. Those were the days when men were men.” Hum, “when men were men!” Has an Archie Bunker-ish ring to it, huh?