An Interview with a Trailblazer
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I got a chance to interview the global executive talent consultant, World Business Forum speaker and prestigious Egon Zehnder executive Claudio Fernandez-Araoz the other day. We discussed several things, but perhaps the most important dealt with leadership, ethics and morals in a world that is forgetting the importance of holding the door open for someone. Although I understand this doesn't have direct relations to other posts that I've put up or some of the ones you guys put up, I think it is important to hear, especially on a forum with such bright, young minds.
Leadership in the next 25 years...
"The future fits the definition of VUCA (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). It is as unpredictable as the past! However, there has been a great convergence in technology and industry. Thus, it will be much harder to have privacy as a leader in the public realm or in the corporate realm, for that matter. It will be, in a sense, an Age of Transparency. For this reason, leaders must know how to do three things definitively in order to better serve the purpose of their peoples: build communion between what they do, what they say and who they are."
"Leaders must have a large sense of ethos, pathos and logos, for a single matter. Although, more generally speaking, leaders must have integrity, one of the key principles behind successful leadership in any era. Leaders must be engaging, passionate and must combine a thirst and hunger with the humility that will take them to achieve it. Just as the world is changing at such a rate, leadership must be defined by adaptability. Leaders need to be able to change because change is the most powerful vehicle for impact and force that exists. Leaders need to be team players and need to have a desire to put others before themselves. The true success of a leader comes in the success of his/ her people. I have a philosophy that leaders need to show three things in order to succeed: mastery, autonomy and purpose. Do not disregard contextual merit, it's necessary. However, emotional intelligence and fervor are just as important."
"There has been a very noticeable trend in education over the past few decades. While our emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) has grown to match the competitive job markets of our world economies today, there has been one facet of personal development that has plummeted in instruction, quality and all around awareness--emotional intelligence/ emotional IQ. There is a lot of research that has been done to show that the key to state success with education comes with combining home and school to be an encouraging setting for progress. Also, the level of commitment and competitiveness within countries around the world varies greatly. Take Singapore and South Korea, for example. Both have bettered their economies, education systems and infrastructure fairly rapidly. Some of that progress has been happening in Latin America as well. I think what's important in improving education around the world is remembering three necessary factors for the success of any system: a government dedicated to improving state education, passionate teachers that really want to make a change and of course, more stress of emotional intelligence, something which we greatly need in our time of electronic screens, internet connections and no face-to-face communication."
If you would like to see more of our interview, check out my column on www.theledger.com and searching my name/ column title "Figuring it Out".