Can Intelligent Leadership be exported? Reading Abdi Jama’s inspiring blog last month, My Journey to Pertec, I was reminded of what was on my mind 8 years ago when I started my own Pertec journey. How well would an approach to leadership, born in the far North of Europe, work in other cultures?
Well, I soon found out. My first assignments with Pertec were in Sweden, Denmark and Saudi Arabia. I was not too worried about the Nordic neighbours. Of course there are cultural diferences that affect leadership style, for example consensus driven decision making in Sweden against the more challenging style to the team leader from team members typical in Denmark. But as the values underpinning Nordic societies are fairly similar, Intelligent Leadership should work out OK.
I was most worried about the client in Saudi Arabia: how would Intelligent Leadership play out so far from its home? Surprisingly, it was in Riyadh that I got the best reception. The group I worked with there was extremely diverse, with participants coming from all over the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Here, I noticed something really interesting - the more diverse the group I work with, then the greater the appeal of the Pertec approach to Leading Renewal.
In Saudi I learned that Intelligent Leadership is an approach from Finland, but it is also a global approach to leadership. Some of the features that give Intelligent Leadership this global appeal include:
- its holistic approach to the human being
- the need to use multiple sources of intelligence: rational, pragmatic, emotional, spiritual and cultural
- the strong emphasis on self-leadership as the starting point for all leadership
- its original base came from Pentti Sydänmaanlakka's global leadership experience
- it has been added to dynamically by the diversity we have in the Pertec team
|Map areas marked in blue show recent areas of Pertec operations.|
Pertec's journey in leading renewal has taken the team to over 30 countries in Four Continents.
And the journey will continue this spring as we have trips lined up in our team to Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, USA, France, Italy and the UAE. I’m leaving for Somaliland on Saturday and look forward to telling you in my next post about the leadership challenges in East Africa.