Leadership for the Greater Good:

Global Thought Leaders Explore Today's Challenges

ILA’s blog launched in March 2020 amid a world struggling to make sense of the pandemic, racial inequality, and challenges to democracy. We charge our bloggers to apply their leadership knowledge and practical wisdom to inform and inspire us as we continued our work of advancing leadership knowledge and practice for a better world. Bloggers include authors from 12 countries spanning 5 continents.

Picture of a butterfly on a green marble earth with a tree growing out of it

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The Power of Conversations and Physical (Not Social) Distancing

These days, we are relying on Zoom and other apps to meet and carry on with our work. Sometimes it may seem like we are talking even more than usual! But we are missing the impromptu conversations that are an important part of our workday. As leaders, how can we foster these kinds of conversations and stay connected?

On Being Grounded in Aotearoa New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern has received great praise as Prime Minister of New Zealand. She exemplifies the Māori concept of a rangatira leader, one who weaves people together. The rangatira approach empowers others to act, at all levels of society, understanding leadership is both an individual and collective endeavor.

Leading with Shared Vulnerability

While we have taken pride in what we could accomplish in our interconnected world, COVID-19 reveals how our interdependence exposes us to greater risk, making us more vulnerable. It shows how our strength can also be a source of weakness. Is it possible to find strength and possibilities in our shared vulnerability?

A Global Crisis and the Recalibration of Humanity

The coronavirus has led to a recalibration of the human spirit and a rise in humanity’s leadership. It’s the kind of “connected leadership” the youth of this country, and the world, have been calling for. We must ask ourselves: Why haven’t we been doing this all along? And, how we will make it last?

A Time for Public Kinship Amid a Mandate of Social Distance

At this time of social distancing, Bobby Austin calls for us to embrace “Public Kinship” to help tend to the fracturing and crumbling of our social infrastructure. Public Kinship is based on personal self-leadership – what we do for ourselves, for each other, and for the common good.

The COVID-19 Crisis: A Time to Reset Leadership Values and Practices

Authoritarian-style leadership practices have become more common, to the point that they are often dismissed as “that’s just the way it is.” COVID-19 reveals our need for leaders who speak with authenticity and accuracy and puts in stark relief the shortcomings of authoritarian leaders – and the choices ahead of us.

Character Matters

Katherine Tyler Scott, former board chair of the ILA, speaks to the importance of character in leadership, and the damage that occurs when it is lacking. “Questioning and pondering the meaning and relevance of character in leadership is not only an academic exercise, it is a moral imperative, and as we can see daily, it is a matter of life and death.”

Do We Get the Leaders We Deserve?

These times require a collaborative global approach, based on mutuality and trust. Yet trust is in short supply. This is due, in part, to the rise of authoritarian leaders – malignant narcissists – who pursue their self-interests without any moral restrictions. These leaders are dangerous, not just for their countries, but for the entire world.

The Entire Planet Must Reformulate Its Way of Operating

Aldo Boitano writes that the coronavirus pandemic has revealed how deeply connected we are and how our actions directly affect others. In making future decisions, he urges us to understand that not only is a shared future better than a lonely one; there is no future if it is not shared.

Viewing Leadership Through a Systems Lens (in a Time of Pandemic)

Kathleen E. Allen looks at how a whole systems approach to leadership enables both/and thinking, a more effective use of data, and rewards cooperation across the system. “When leaders use these three lenses, not only are the outcomes better for their country, they are better for the whole system long term.”

Leading and Learning from the Pandemic

Mike Hardy, chair of the ILA, writes that COVID-19 has taught us that epidemics will happen but we won’t know when. What does that mean for leadership? Hardy argues that we need to focus on preparing, not planning. “We cannot expect there to be clear maps showing stress-free routes to our future. We need to remain agile, take risks, and commit to learning.”

ILA’s Leadership for the Greater Good blog is supported via a grant from the MetLife Foundation.