I am inspired to write on the subject of global citizenship by a recent blog by Seth Godin. In it, amongst other things he says… ‘It’s the citizens who define the future because of their commitment to the long-term matters’.
This caused me to consider citizenship and leadership in parallel because we might say the same thing about true leaders. They too define the future – not by being dictatorial or autocratic but because they care. They care about others. They care about the well-being of the seven generations of people that will come after them, just as the indigenous leaders inspire us to consider. They see that actions today have a real impact on the future.
Being a global citizen and indeed leader, in my book, means lifting our heads up and away from our own lives and toward the many.
The many in our community, our organisations, our nations and the many in and on our planet as a whole. It means standing up and being counted when we see inequalities or injustice – both of which can be rife in organisations in so many subtle and not so subtle ways.
It means being led by positive values and a code that takes us beyond selfish interests. In organisations we still see (and perhaps even more so now) a fixation with money – profit and cost. What if we invested that time in right-sizing our business i.e. less obsession with growth so that everyone in it can perform in a sustainable and satisfying way without exhausting themselves. This could then also offer space and time to enable everyone to focus on how the business (through its core offering) can creatively connect into and help solve the issues facing Humanity at this time.
Citizenship is a privilege as is leadership. A privilege that affords us rights and responsibilities. As corporate leaders, we have the right to set the agenda and direction for the organisation and the responsibility to set the right agenda.
Where are you taking your organisation?