‘Good leadership will require the cultivation of a ‘global’ and a ‘systems’ mindset, developing skills of open-mindedness, inclusivity, long-term and systemic thinking, and navigating complexity without trying to artificially reduce it.’
‘They must deal with uncertainty, as there is no uniformity in customer preferences, competitive circumstances, economic conditions, employee relations, or governmental regulations across the various countries and cultures. We live in an increasingly borderless world that is nonetheless still filled with linguistic, cultural, political, temporal, economic, and social borders. This creates conflicts and tensions between and among various units in the worldwide company.’ (Bingham, Felin, & Black, 2000)
It all begins with toning and training the one body part you probably never think about — your brain.
There is a growing need for global leaders who are able to understand and grapple with the globalized impact of human actions. Yet, their brains are not prepared for this task. The Ekco. Forge will fill this gap by focusing specifically on the space where leadership is created, the mindscape.
On the fundamental level of biological cognition, leaders are those that direct the behavior of everyone else, for better, or for worse.
Trait theory argues that that leaders are born, not made. Trait theory has more research completed on it over the past 100 years than any other leadership theory, (Northouse, 2004).
…and it is wrong.
The most recent findings of cognitive neuroscience state that most personality traits are not present at birth, but are nurtured through environmental influences, throughout the brains’ lifespan.
The Ekco. Forge focuses on teaching how the brain functions on a biological level and on guiding students into the mindscape, to allow them to experience how the brain interacts with the mind, and the mind interacts with our perceived reality. This builds individual control over the brain in order to facilitate appropriate and beneficial action.
Many leaders live in a constant state of cognitive dissonance in which their core values are often in conflict with their economic decisions. This mental state cannot produce beneficial action, set a good example, or maintain the health of the individual.
The decisions made by these leaders are resulting in environments that are detrimental to the whole of society.
Image: The State of the Digital Brain Health Market 2012-2020 (SharpBrains)
A global leadership development program must prepare participants to lead in a multinational, multicultural, multilingual, multimedia world with multiple stakeholders, including: colleagues, subordinates, supplies, customers, competitors, affiliates and parent organizations (Bonnstetter, 2000)
The human brain is a learning organ; learning is not simply an activity undertaken as part of a formal training program, but a lifelong process of inquiry, practice, and reflection on how to survive in an environment. The goal is to create leaders that have the mental capacity to make decisions that will result in environments in which our finest behavior is most beneficial for our survival.
All cognitive training and regular contemplative practices build a greater degree of control over the emotional brain, allowing the thought process to expand. To gain the flexibility and empathy that allows for global thinking. These are mental abilities that will be the foundation of that which we will require of our leaders in the future.
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The document explores the first practical steps required to reach this goal. Steps that require the participation of those more knowledgeable or influential in each field.