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Global Leader and Leadership Development for Sustainability

Sat, October 27, 9:00 to 10:30, Palm Beach County Convention Center, 1F

Session Submission Type: Workshop

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Short Description

Now, more than ever, the world needs leaders who are authentic and able to tap into higher callings and community as they lead themselves, their teams, and their organizations. In this interactive workshop, scholar practitioners Egel and Fry come together to offer a model of global leadership for sustainability grounded in spiritual leadership theory. An operational process and various reflective tools for global leaders will also be shared. Through experiential and reflective exercises, participants will learn about the importance of cultivating a global mindset and recognize the need to incorporate two ethical principles necessary for sustainability.

Detailed Abstract

These challenging and turbulent times require authentic leaders who pursue a higher calling and seek membership in a loving community as they authentically lead themselves and their teams as they seek creative and innovative ways of solving the intractable problems of today. Especially important is the challenge of how to embed sustainability within a triple bottom line-based business model that places employee well-being and sustainability on a par with economic profit. However, dedication to the triple bottom line is often a response of political correctness, making it difficult to discern whether there is a genuine moral commitment to sustainable development or “greenwashing” whereby disinformation is disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image (Fry & Egel, 2017).
Authentic leaders clearly and accurately see themselves and their lives and have strong ethical convictions (Avolio & Gardner, 2005). Research has also shown that authentic leaders act out of self-transcendent values (such as social justice and equality, responsibility and honesty) and positive other-directed emotions (e.g., respect and care for the others) (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Michie & Gooty, 2005).  This workshop is placing authenticity at the center of the leader and leadership development as it is founded on what is most authentic in humans: their spiritual being.

Leading versus Leadership Development
It is important to distinguish between leader and leadership development (Day, 2011; Day et al., 2014). Leader development focuses on the individual leader; on how to develop individual- based knowledge, intrapersonal skills, and abilities, such as self- awareness, self- regulation, and self-motivation. Leading typically concentrates on the influence leaders have among their followers. On the other hand, leadership focuses on the social influence process that engages everyone and enables teams of people to work together in meaningful ways and places emphasis on the leader’s development of followers and interpersonal skills to foster mutual trust, respect, and, ultimately, organizational commitment and performance.


Global Leader Development
A key competency that is viewed as essential for global leader development is a global mindset (GM), which incorporates the leader’s fundamental spiritually-based ontological experience of reality and the core beliefs and values they hold about themselves, others, and life in general and, through this filter, the epistemological context for how leaders cognitively interpret their reality and behave accordingly. (Anderson & Ackerman-Anderson, 2010; Egel & Fry, 2017). Global leaders aspiring to cultivate a GM must be conscious, self-aware, and other-centered (Egel & Fry, 2017). Once leaders accept the possibility that their view of the world is one of many alternative interpretations of reality and become willing to remain conscious and present to the now, they begin to realize they are interconnected with “the other” -“the other” being all existence including nature and their fellow humans. This sense of self-transcendence through interconnectedness deepens their involvement with the “other” (Egel & Fry, 2017; Fry & Nisiewicz, 2013).

Global Leadership Development.
Two ethical principles for sustainability that are indispensable for global leadership development take into consideration the interests of stakeholders that are not usually considered by organizations pursuing the neoliberal economic paradigm of maximizing profit and shareholder value. The first ethical principle embraces remote responsibility, which is the moral obligation of an organization to consider the impact of its actions on people and places distant in time (future generations) and space from the direct organizational interests. For example, organizations following this principle accept ethical responsibility for the people in countries of the Global South who extract resources and manufacture the goods we buy. They stop using utilitarian ethics- “the greater good for the greater number of people” in order to justify the depletion of natural resources, the pollution of the natural environment and the use of inexpensive workforce for the sake of promoting cheap consumerism.
The second ethical principle addresses stakeholder legitimacy concerning the organization’s moral obligation to protect the rights of those stakeholders who are not in a position of power to claim and protect their rights (Maak & Pless, 2006). Stakeholder legitimacy from a moral point of view is not determined by whether stakeholders have power to voice their claims and pressure the corporatio, but rather, based on the fundamental dignity of all human beings, by the justice of their claim. An example here would be the indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforests who are losing their land rights to deforestation and uncontrollable extraction of crude oil from conglomerates (Fry & Egel, 2017; Pless et al., 2011; Ulrich, 2008).

Global Leadership for Sustainability
In this workshop we offer models, methods, and tools for implementing global leadership for sustainability. It focuses on both global leader development, especially the cultivation of a global mindset, and global leadership development centered on embedding two ethical principles for sustainability into the organization’s culture. The theoretical foundation of global leadership for sustainability is spiritual leadership theory. Spiritual leadership intrinsically motivates oneself and others by drawing on an inner life or spiritual practice to foster hope/faith in a transcendent vision and cultural values based in altruistic love, which in turn satisfies universal needs for spiritual well-being through calling and membership and, ultimately, a balanced focus that positively influences employee well-being, economic profits, social impact (internal and external), and environmental sustainability - the triple bottom line (Crews, 2010; Elkington, 1998, Fry & Nisiewicz, 2013)

Exercise Overview.
• Overview. Welcome. Overview of global leadership for sustainability. (10 Minutes)
• Global Mindset Survey. Administer Global Mindset survey. Short presentation on global leader development, (20 Minutes)
• Group-based activity. Participants reflect on and share on their results. Groups report out. (15 Minutes)
• Ethical Principles for Sustainability survey. Administer Ethical Principles for Sustainability survey. Short presentation on global leadership development. (20 Minutes)
• Group-based activity. Participants reflect and share their results. Groups report out. (15 Minutes)
• Wrap up. Presentation and discussion of an integrative model of Global Leadership that ties the two activities together. (10 Minutes)

Learning Outcomes.
• Understand the global leadership for sustainability model and the role global mindset and ethical principles for sustainability play in global leadership for sustainability.
• Assess current global mindset and ethical principles for sustainability awareness
• Explore personally and collectively how these models, methods, and tools may be used to further participants’ global leader and leadership development.

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