This week Kavya Manocha, the strategy and insights planning associate at ZS Associates, shares her thoughts on Responsible Leadership in our blog series. Especially regarding today’s challenges in a world that demand sustainable solutions which have societal impact and commitment to the common good.
Since I was a child, my parents have iterated the importance of leadership to me. They have always pushed me to take responsibility for my actions and made me accountable for my decisions. This has gone a long way in making me the person I am today. However, during my childhood, I couldn’t properly fathom its importance.
Only when I was looking for a job recently did I realize, good organizations do not just happen. They are made up of people who want to lead and make a change, with a desire to differ from the crowd. Such organizations recruit those with opinions and ideas, who have a voice to influence decisions, which is key in being a good leader.
After reading many definitions across the web to describe responsible leadership, I came to create one of my own. I would define responsible leadership as consisting of authentic people with the highest level of integrity while making ethical judgments to build enduring organizations. It is also a dynamic concept and has changed through time, especially today with the onset of employees that tend to prioritize the workplace environment and people they work with. This calls for leaders, who are committed to driving growth while paving the way for positive social and environmental outcomes. More and more leaders are being recognized which advocates a change and does so with utmost confidence. This is possible through self-awareness and a purpose that guides them in making decisions in the most humane way.
Currently, COVID-19 has brought in its wake a major economic and health crisis causing a big blow to the world economy and challenging even the best of national leaders. It is the biggest test of leadership seen in decades and no training has prepared leaders for this. Only those, which survive these conditions, will leave this crisis stronger than ever. The crisis has affected many international organizations as well, which are currently exposed and highly politicized due to their inability to control such an event. This is why organizations, as well as the world, needs leaders, which have a deep sense of purpose and are true to their core values. This is an opportunity to make a difference in the world, which will empower others while also contributing to a worthwhile cause.
Today’s challenging world demands solutions, which are sustainable and emphasize on societal impact and commitment to the common good. The common good is relatively said to be the job of governments and non-profit organizations, however, it is the firms and businesses which hold massive decision-making power in the society to encourage change. Through creative and purpose-driven partnerships between the government and firms, solutions can be delivered. Business leaders are taking this time to support and encourage their employees through engaging communication.
One thing is for sure, there will be no easy decisions and boundaries will be broken. Throughout history, we have seen leaders who have created a new normal by taking big decisions and inspiring people. Leaders, which seize the moment, will be remembered through the course of time. While many countries like New Zealand, Singapore have triumphed and controlled the pandemic through exemplary leadership, and I hope this paves the way for purpose-driven solutions in many other countries.
The road ahead for the rest of the year and the following decade falls on these leaders, which have the capacity to act in the best interests of today and tomorrow. While it is the job of the public to support them and slowly transcend and accept the changes which will follow in our work environments and society.