These days bring tremendous challenges for leaders. Already in January, the BlackRock CEO Larry Fink made a fuss with a letter to the CEO’s and his call for rethinking management and leadership. The high amount of challenges as climate issues, digitization and intercultural challenges change the way we judge companies and their leaders.
The current Covid-19 situation has enormously strengthened the leadership situation. We students wonder what this means for current and future leaders and how they can deal with different challenge in a sustainable and responsible way. Therefore, we want to decrypt Responsible Leadership.
The aim of the World Business Dialogue has always been to shape the leaders of tomorrow and bring them together with current leaders. Our aim has always been to moderate a dialogue about current and future topics that highly affect businesses, politics and society. Responsible Leadership unites all this. So it’s time for us to start this dialogue immediately!
What does Responsible Leadership exactly mean, what is its core? Asking ourselves this question, we realized how hard it actually is to find an answer. However, we want to give you our first definition: “Responsible Leadership means that you know the consequences of your action as a leader and, by doing so, act according to the interests of your company, employees, society and the environment. It is the responsibility of everyone to rank and prioritize these interests in different situations. Afterwards, you have to take responsibility for the consequences.”
We don’t claim that this is a fixed definition for all time, but we think we have to dig deeper. We want to ask several questions: What are the characteristics of a Responsible Leader in the 21st century? How can he or she make decisions in complex situations, taking into account the interests of stakeholders, the environment and society? To whom is he responsible? What are best and worst practices for people who lead responsibly or irresponsibly through the Corona crisis? How can students or young founders learn Responsible Leadership?
By the way: This is only a small selection of the topics and questions we want to discuss. You’re invited to add more questions by commenting on our website. We will include them in our discussion so that you can enrich our Dialogue!
We also want to take a look at leadership in extreme situations. Of course, Covid-19 will be one example, but also military. In these complex and confusing situations, characteristics of a Responsible Leader become more essential and visible.
We have divided the opic in different parts: Defining Responsible Leadership, Learning & Teaching, Acting and Challenges & Limits. These aspects which can be found in our questions often goes hand in hand. As we, young students, have a close connection to the university, we want to have particularly a look at the link between theory and practice, between learning Responsible Leadership and acting accordingly.
At the end, we want to have a broad definition. We’ve always believed in the power of different perspectives – for Responsible Leadership this attitude is even more essential than for other topics. The dialogue will take place in our podcast “The Dialogue” in which we talk to our guests about their experience regarding Responsible Leadership and it will take place in interaction with you – on our website we have implemented opportunities for you to interact with us and each other about the topic. We will add some later and keep you posted.
So join our Dialogue! Between generations, between cultures. Between corporate or political leaders, founders and those who will lead companies and organizations the future.
We are looking forward to an exciting Dialogue!