Taking a local perspective on a global leadership issue

LEADER: David Pich says that lessons on global leadership can be found locally.
LEADER: David Pich says that lessons on global leadership can be found locally.

This article is sponsored by the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

As chief executive of a peak Australian leadership body, the one question that I am often asked is; ‘Is there a crisis of leadership in the world today?’

It’s one of those questions that is usually put to me in the hope of producing a pithy soundbite - perhaps about Trump, Brexit or the leaders of some of our local high street banks (feel free to insert your own favourite example of poor leadership here!).

But here’s the thing about what I call ‘the crisis question’; it shows a common mistake that we make when we consider the quality of leadership and today’s leaders. There’s a tendency to ‘think global’.

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It’s understandable, of course. It’s impossible to escape the news about leadership issues around the world. These stories are everywhere, from the television screen to our Twitter feeds. There’s no denying that leadership is a global issue.

But it’s a local issue too.

In my view, if we all spent more time focusing on local leadership issues and local leaders we would see a different perspective on, and get a far more balanced picture of, the current leadership landscape.

For example, I spend time with my two young daughters while they play soccer in the local park on the Saturday morning and I see plenty of great leaders using their leadership skills with the kids (and their parents!) right across the ten or more fields in use.

The gift of listening. The art of negotiation. A positive attitude to problem solving.

These are all important skills that can be used from the playground right up to the boardroom.

There are leadership lessons to be found in the most unlikely of places.

There are leadership lessons to be found in the most unlikely of places.

I like to view these – and the many other examples of local leadership – as being the antidote to the seemingly never ending drip feeding of bad news stories.

Of course, I take a keen interest in issues of global leadership too, but sometimes it’s good to look beyond the crises and to celebrate local leadership.

There are lessons to be learnt everywhere.

‘Looking local’ and giving a shout out to someone you know who’s leading well close to home is one of the best strategies in crisis management when it comes to leadership.

David Pich FIML is the chief executive of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (formerly the Australian Institute of Management).

This article is sponsored by the Institute of Managers and Leaders.