“The Leadership Lab” by Pippa Malmgren and Chris Lewis

 

Two entrepreneurs, one American, one British, and both advisers to many world leaders, have collated input and feedback from various LEWIS Advisory Labs, dialogues in which these global leaders explore current opportunities and challenges facing the international business community.

With the help of an Ancient Greek Kythera, a device with 8 ‘spokes’ (and curiously similar to my first coaching model), originally used for positioning the stars, the authors discuss the paradoxes of our landscape today, outlining the shifts that seem beneficial as well as harmful. The topics covered range from the impact of information overload, the internationalism and insularity of economics, adverse behaviours stemming from egotism, impatience, short-term thinking and overconfidence, geopolitical changes and infrastructure, and inclusivity and inequality.

They argue that Western Reductionist thinking is now inadequate, and make recommendations for a fresh global leadership approach. Many of these I fully agree with, especially the need to access more right-brain thinking and make connections with imagination; the need to foster feminine values like community-building, care and empathy; the need for us to draw up a “to be” list as well as a “to do” list, to develop “situational fluency”, and for businesses to add more value to local communities. This book is a plea for moral, balanced and conscious leadership, anchored by core values and calm contemplation.

Rather like Thomas Friedman’s “Thank you for being late”, which I enjoyed recently, this new book supports our broader and deeper understanding of our increasingly complex reality and the huge changes that are impacting leadership. A good addition was that, for those too time-stretched or impatient to read the whole text, the authors sum up their conclusions at the beginning.

 

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