Why we need moral values for a new global leadership

by Christian Kurmann

We are in the midst of an unprecedented transformation, even larger than the Industrial Revolution. Because of increasing technological changes, our world is fast becoming more and more interconnected.


 

The fact is that the dynamic force of globalisation will continue to change our perceptions, awareness and consciousness – the way we interact towards each other and the way do business – which challenges the entirety of human kind to a level we have not yet experienced in the entire history of homo sapiens.

The relentless searching for more – more market share, more growth, more dominance, more dependency, more control, more influence – now shows significant global social provocation. Is it possible that economic growth has become the secular religion of advancing industrial societies? Is it just an illusion what we are currently experiencing worldwide an ethical disorientation attacking the economic concept of the “Homo Economicus” seeking only for one’s own advantage?

This sort of image we have of mankind has led to reckless and inconsiderate behaviour towards the earth, its inhabitants, and nature. We all know the price of everything – but we rarely comprehend the value of it. And this will one day catch up with us.

It is incorrect to claim that only managers and their corporations are greedy, seeking more and more; meanwhile the entire global society drifts more and more towards that sort of ‘mantra’ which makes us more and more dependent. We cannot escape the constraints of the market. This attitude has resonated right down across the entire global society where social and environmental costs are high, affecting society, culture, traditions and values, making us dependent. As long as we support a system that deifies management receiving bonuses and gratifications to boost short-term profit maximisation, we will all continuously suffocate under dependency. This eventually leads to loneliness: economically, socially and culturally. 

 

In fact, it is a right to enjoy a self-determined life that becomes an important asset. The same could be the case for corporations. Indeed, it is satisfaction that becomes an indication of success in handling tangible values with modesty.

 

That is why we urgently require a necessary transformation of values which are recognised by democratic societies, basic democratic values such as freedom, equality and justice, followed by moral values which enable the community to live a good balanced life. This includes individual values such as self-determination, independence, friendship and a healthy life style which provide us the opportunity for personal unfolding. This also includes social values such as solidarity, fairness, peace, and tolerance to secure harmonious social bonding; and economic values that preserve the quality of life considering a gentle and sustainable handing of natural habitat.

Since it is the inner instinct of humankind to cooperate, we intuitively protect this behaviour, which makes sense if we rate ethical-democratic values as most important, followed by moral and economic values.

 

Human dignity must be the basis of human action.

 

The current global crisis we are experiencing is in my opinion the result of a reversal of the hierarchy. This means that economic values have been given the highest priority ever, with all other values slipping in the rankings below. This explains why we support and protect profit maximisation. To combat this, we must learn how to learn differently, but we are fearful and anxious to do this because current circumstances tell us that learning is no longer an option, but a need to overcome fear and anxiety. This requires courage, trust and clarity. This is why talents, attitude, skills, beliefs, new thinking and morals – not capital – play a key role in the new leadership understanding. 

We must use this current global social crisis to form a new priority order to build value groups – value groups that introduce qualitative value consciousness; value groups that acknowledge and support human dignity; value groups that frame the basis of a new global leadership and then perhaps even a better mindful tomorrow.

This simply means that all economic sectors no longer undergo an ‘ethic free zone’ but rather adhere to proof of good global leadership – as every economic sector as well as every profession has got its standard ethos. The fact is that no one can do without ethics and moral values. Once people desire to cooperate with each other, they need rules. Because it is necessary to bring freedom of the individual in line with freedom of others, this is the only way to ensure all the greatest possible freedom until today.

 

 

The roots of change lie in the education – at home, at schools and at universities – of our children and future global leaders.

 

 

We need to encourage and guide senior decision makers across all levels to learn how to learn differently, challenging the known and the expected, letting this go in a move towards the unknown and the unexpected. What is made by mankind can be changed and transformed by mankind. That is why we urgently need to introduce ethical leadership standards – moral values, high-minded noble leadership qualities – that serve a purpose-orientation making meaning and giving sense, because we can no longer escape the constraints of globalisation. This simply means that all economic sectors no longer undergo “ ethic free zones” , but rather proof of good global leadership – as every economic sector as well as every profession has got its standard ethos. Fact is that no one can do without ethics and moral values. Once people want to cooperate with each other, they need rules. Because it was necessary to bring freedom of the individual together with freedom of others in line, - that is the only way to ensure all the greatest possible freedom until today. The roots of change lie in the education - at home, at schools and universities of our children and future global leaders.

This is why we need to encourage and guide senior decision makers across all levels to learn how to learn differently challenging the known and the expected and letting it go and move towards the unknown and the unexpected. This means what is made by mankind can be changed and transformed by mankind. That is why we need urgently to introduce ethical leadership standards – moral values, high-minded noble and leadership qualities that serve towards a purpose-orientation making meaning and give sense, because we can no longer escape the constraints of globalisation.

 

 

Moral leadership demonstrates responsibility for doing what is right. This includes:

Applying ethical, mindful standards to leadership perspectives, understanding the relevance of integrity and responsibility to leadership.

Moral, mindful leadership involves leading in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of others.

The duties of leaders includes the responsibility to ensure standards of moral, mindful ethical conduct.

Mindful leaders inspire subordinate´s attitude, value sand virtue and stimulate morale influence.

Mindful leaders male known their values, virtues and ethics and reflect them in their leadership styles and actions and relate to principles of right and wrong in behavior, especially for teaching right behavior

Moral, mindful leadership involves the commitment to doing what is right according to societal and cultural beliefs, values and virtues about acceptable behavior. 

Ethical, mindful leaders distinguish themselves by making decisions in the service of long-term benefits that may be inconvenient, unpopular and even unprofitable in the short-term.

Moral, mindful leaders have a clear understanding of their own values, virtues and hold themselves accountable for them and express their trustworthiness and this trust enables the organisation to accept the leader´s vision.  

Moral, mindful leaders consider the viewpoints and needs of all who have an interest in a decision's outcomes, rather than simply the most powerful. In this way, moral leaders use their own power to convince others of the rightness of their choices.

 

The big question left is whether or not we have the courage to trust ourselves to find the capability to become more empathic in our day-to-day routines so that we better comprehend sources of conflicts.

Can we do this? Can you?

 


 
 
Christian Kurmann