To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.
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Global leadership receives increasing attention these days, especially in the sense that leaders require a "global mindset" in order to prepare themselves and their organizations to operate effectively and wisely in an interdependent world. This trend seems highly sensible, but is it?
This week I attended the Worldly Leadership Summit at the Leadership Trust near Gloucester, England, and heard several speakers contend that "worldly," rather than "global" leadership is needed in today's world. Global, they argued, implies a Western-dominated, homogenizing perspective when what is needed, by leaders and followers alike, is sensitivity to multiple worlds within the world we call Planet Earth.
A worldly perspective honors the specific geographic context in which particular groups of people live and work, and it is concerned about the natural as well as the human world. Indeed, a number of the summit speakers insisted that the natural and human worlds be viewed as one, a unity teeming with diversity.
Worldly leaders are likely to feel a particular urgency about the devastating impact of what some scientists are now calling "global heating" on communities that are often invisible to US and European citizens. At the summit, we heard from a Maasai leader, Emmanuel Mankura, who stood tall in his distinctive traditional dress, as he told us that climate change has brought extreme drought to his part of Kenya, devastating the Maasai's livestock on which everyone depends. He explained how elders and younger leaders are helping their communities retain hope and develop ways to ward off hunger and increase their political clout. Clearly, though, groups and organizations outside the community will have to do more in both the short- and long-term if the Maasai are to survive.
We heard voices from other communities that have been devastated by environmental destruction caused by climate change or by resource exploitation by multinational companies. We were invited to learn more about indigenous communities' ways of leading, both because those ways have their own legitimacy and because they can help leaders in other societies attune their practices more closely to the earth's rhythms, strengths and limitations.
I came away from the summit with even stronger conviction that a prime leadership challenge today (especially in affluent parts of the world) is assembling needed commitments and actions to combat climate change. The good news is that more and more organizations and groups from business, government, nonprofit, media and community sectors are taking on this challenge.
A "worldly mindset" may be essential to this work. What do you think?