Global and Contextual Leadership

Leadership is such a buzz word these days.  We talk about how to lead people in business, society, faith groups and similar.  You can go into any bookstore and find hundreds of books on Leadership.  They have fancy covers and simple covers.  They have big named authors and less known authors.  They speak of principles of leadership and stories of effectiveness.  They have caused many leaders to develop their skills to new levels, and they have effected me too.  However, many of them have one thing in common that is not necessarily the best thing.  They are Western in paradigm.  They are Western in practice.

With globalization, and the ease of access to global thought online, we are really starting to understand that some of our tried and true principles of leadership in the Western world simply aren’t absolute but a product of our western mindset and worldview.  For example, in North America we might say that as a leader it is very important to look a person in the eye confidently, but around the world this can be seen as a threat.  Some of these simple leadership principles are not so simple after all.

I have been lucky, or perhaps blessed enough to be studying Global and Contextual Leadership at Bethel University in St. Paul Mn, USA.  This doctoral program has allowed our small cohort to travel around the world and learn from local leaders from various backgrounds and faiths.  This has caused us to reflect and analize our preconceived notions of leadership.  These experiences have changed my life and worldview for the better.

The blog that I have included on this site is really dedicated to this new understanding.  As I write about leadership, and cross-cultural effectiveness, my thoughts are birthed out of this global understanding.  I trust that what I have shared with you online can be a helpful tool for evaluating your global and contextual leadership.