According to leadership scholar Howard Gardner, “People are not equally good in everything. …Extraordinary people …find out what their competitive advantage is, they push that as hard as they can, and they do not worry that much about things that they are not good at.”
In your Global Insight and Wisdom Journal, assess your distinctive advantage. What are you particularly good at doing?
1.What would you say are your distinctive advantages as a leader right now?
2.How do you currently leverage your distinctive advantages? (That is, how do you make the best use of your distinctive competencies as a leader?)
3.How could you increasingly leverage your distinctive advantages?
4.What should you do less of or drop altogether because you are not good at it (and someone else could do it better?)
Exercise 6F: Framing: The Skill of Extraordinary Leaders
According to leadership scholar Howard Gardner, “Extraordinary people, because they are risk takers, experience lots of failures; however, they learn how to frame their failures. Framing means that rather than giving up right away or ignoring the failure completely, they say, “What can I learn from this?” “What’s the lesson here?” “How can I convert this obstacle into an opportunity?” “How can I dissect this experience so that next time things will work much better?”
Do you see yourself as primarily a risk taker or a risk avoider? Ask yourself, “What can I learn from failure?” rather than how can I ignore failure or descend into defeat.
Exercise 6G: Envisioning an Ideal Future
Imagine yourself 20 years into the future. Imagine the global community you really want as if it exists now. Write one sentence in the form of: “In the ideal future, the world will be…”
As global leaders who have an influence on the world, what do you think it is important to work toward? As global business leaders, how important is it that you be concerned with the overall impact of business on society? As business leaders, how important is it that you are active in the overall development of society?
Exercise 6H: Images of Power
For you, what is the essence of power? What is your image of power?
Exercise 6I: Cultural Roots of Motivation
What are your own assumptions about motivation? Why would you work hard? List your own assumptions about what motivates you to work hard.
Why do you think people from your culture work? What makes people from your culture work hard? What could a leader do to motivate people from your culture to work hard? Create a list of the reasons you believe people from your culture would be willing to work hard; that is, create a list of your motivation assumptions for people from your own culture. Create a list of what a leader could do to motivate people from your culture.
After listing the reasons you believe people from your own culture would be willing to work hard, analyze the list from a cultural perspective. What are the cultural assumptions underlying your motivation approach?
Exercise 6J: Local Justice and Integrity
A major North American company operating in Asia discovered one of the local employees stealing company property of minimal value. The managers at the location, all of whom are expatriate Americans, had little doubt about the employee’s guilt.
As managing director of the facility, what would you do about the situation? Describe your individual decision and your reasoning.
What the actual managing director did:
Following the company’s standard worldwide procedure, the American managing director reported the case to the local police. Similar to many other North American companies, this company believed that it was best to let officials from the local culture deal with theft and similar violations in whatever way they found most appropriate, rather than imposing the system of justice from their home culture.
•What do you think about the managing director’s action? Do you think it will be effective? Why? Why not? Post your assessment on the web for your group to read.
•In your opinion, was the managing director’s action effective? Why? Why not? What might be the unintended consequences of the managing director’s actions?
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