|Essay type:||Book review|
|Categories:||Personal leadership Leadership development Books|
They say life is a mysterious journey, which requires progressive learning through experiences from others or own encounters. After reading the stories in the book “Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best Brightest Young Business Leaders” by Coleman et al. (2012), the saying makes much sense. The stories from the book paint a picture of people who conquered the challenges they faced by identifying them as opportunities worth exploring. Among the accounts that resonate with my personal life include the Kelli Wolf Moles account, Abigail Falik account, Charley Cummings account, and Shelby Clark's story to mention just a few.
Kelli Moles's story accounts for how she almost died from a Malaria infection she acquired following her honeymoon trip in Uganda. The almost-dying feeling reinvigorated her purpose and decided to engage in a cause aimed at helping the poor in the developing world while expanding the market share of the companies donating to her course. In the end, Moles has become a successful marker of how corporations can be change agents. In agreement, personal experiences have affirmed the belief that to be successful, people must work with others not for profit, but to improve the lives of others. Abigail Falik's account emphasizes the need to connect with the broader world population as opposed to being limited to geographical borders. The increased globalization and international migration have resulted in considerable cultural exchange and mixing. Most immigrants in America are fluent in more than one language. Therefore, the future lies in the inability to connect with others at the global level. The accounts resonate with personal experiences having interacted with people from different corners of the world. Expanding the interactions brings increased diversity and cultural awareness, which can go along in enhancing the success of a business.
Charley Cummings further advances these observations accounts in emphasizing the importance of partnership at the community level. In his story, Cummings asserts the benefits that can be realized when communities come together with efforts aimed at addressing climate change. It has always been a personal feeling that an individual may not win global wars such as climate change. However, instead, communities around the world have to come together and pull to realize the global agenda. Lastly, Shelby Clark introduces the idea of seizing the opportunity provided by technology to connect the masses and leverage it for business prospects. Clark narrates his innovation to offer loans through online platforms to people with innovative ideas aimed at helping society, even without having proof of financial credibility. Such a platform has helped Clark and his organization to empower many from the developing world.
The accounts from the selected leaders depict the different approaches through which people can offer effective leadership, more so with respect to successful business leadership. From the accounts, the concepts of leaders having a vision and influencing others to buy the vision are evidenced. All four leadership accounts indicate a scenario where the idea to pursue the purpose originated with the leader and then was shared with others who were convinced to support the course (Lui & Li, 2018). Also, there is a clear indication that leadership is not just a thing of genes but can be influenced from experiences (Boerma et al., 2017). The accounts also demonstrate the power of transformational and participative leadership, as opposed to the autocratic approach, especially in a business that requires investors to support the start-up.
Reading through the accounts has reinforced the need to approach changes in society as opportunities, which will be crucial in forging an effective social change approach. Furthermore, accounts illustrate how the leaders were able to identify their purpose during a storm or a social challenge. Going forward, it is clear that in every challenge, people can come together to offer reasonable solutions that can benefit society as opposed to being focused on profit maximization (Steinmann, Klug & Maier, 2018). In summarizing the stories, the bottom line for every leader is to offer leadership in a common purpose course and improve or touch the lives of others, especially the needy in society.
Before reading the book by Coleman et al. (2012), my goal was more inclined to personal success, though with values of integrity, diligence, and cultural awareness. After reading through the stories in the book, especially those of Moles, Falik, Clark, and Cummings, I realized on how limited my thinking was and the need to endeavor to offer solutions instead of amassing wealth was made. Going forward, the values will remain plus build on professional ethics with the primary goal being to pursue solutions to some of the problems facing society (Ancona & Gregersen, 2018). Together with like-minded persons, solutions will be offered aimed at helping the less privileged in society.
Ancona, D. & Gregersen, H. (2018). The power of leaders who focus on solving problems. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2018/04/the-power-of-leaders-who-focus-on-solving-problems
Boerma, M., Coyle, E. A., Dietrich, M. A., Dintzner, M. R., Drayton, S. J., Early, J. L., 2nd, Edginton, A. N., Horlen, C. K., Kirkwood, C. K., Lin, A., Rager, M. L., Shah-Manek, B., Welch, A. C., & Williams, N. T. (2017). Point/Counterpoint: Are Outstanding Leaders Born or Made? American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 81(3), 58. https://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe81358
Coleman, J., Gulati, D. & Segovia, O. (2012). Passion & Purpose: Stories from the best brightest young business leaders. Harvard Business Review.
Lui, H. & Li, G. (2018). Linking transformational leadership and knowledge sharing: the mediating roles of perceived team goal commitment and perceived team identification. Original Research Article, 3(2). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01331/full
Steinmann, B., Klug, H., & Maier, G. W. (2018). The Path Is the Goal: How Transformational Leaders Enhance Followers' Job Attitudes and Proactive Behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2338. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02338
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