Global leadership was not on my radar going into this past weekend. I am an Indiana boy, raised in the protected suburb of Carmel. I honestly do not think a great deal about business overseas. After all, I am working in Indianapolis. I have traveled to six countries and have lived overseas for a year, yet I have forgotten about the challenges, opportunities and partnerships available throughout the world.
This weekend I sat in a room for over 40 hours with 50 professionals from around the world, listening to talks about leadership. It was inspiring to hear success stories from India, Germany, China and Carmel Indiana. I thought I would share some of my thoughts and learnings from the weekend. They are applicable whether you are a global business leader or a local business leader. It matters not because we are all challenged to lead well.
Here are a few of the insights from the weekend:
1.) Insight #1: Leadership is a journey. No one has it figured out.
2.) Insight #2: Cultural differences are real, yet when you get down to the core issue it is not a huge barrier. We all have a shared humanity and shared goals.
3.) Insight #3: Relationships is a shared value of leaders in Carmel, IN, Shanghai, China and India. It does not matter where you live. Relationships are critical to our business success regardless of geography.
4.) Insight #4: Globalization is reality. It is neither right nor wrong it just is. You may as well embrace it and find opportunities to connect with it.
5.) Insight #5: Leaders take a stand. They do not stay neutral. They move toward something that does not exist presently.
6.) Insight #6: The leadership crucible is defined as the place of difficulty or challenge that leads us and others to a better place. It is where we are forged into something better and where we are tested. It is best not to rush through the crucible, but rather embrace the pain and improve.
7.) Insight #7: Leaders have the opportunity to leave places better or worse. Leave a lasting legacy that creates a positive experience for others that follow you.
There were so many highlights to the weekend that I cannot fully unpack in this blog. What about you? What types of opportunities do you have to think globally? Perhaps you just need to get out of the Indianapolis bubble and think about the world. That was probably my biggest takeaway from the weekend.