Underdog Leadership, A Serious Game

Thursday, March 8, 2012 | comments

With but few exceptions, it is always the underdog who wins through sheer willpower.” 
 Johnny Weissmuller

 March 8 marks the 101st observance of International Women’s Day; to celebrate women’s achievements in politics, economics, and society. It’s also the time to unite both men and women, to bridge the difference, to re-visit our humanitarian value; and it’s the time to ponder the quintessential of leadership--the underdog leadership: influence, strength, mindset, authentication, balance, and character.
 Here we classify underdog leadership into next five categories, to dig deeper about why underdog leadership is not just necessary evil, but fighting angel, to lift voice & choice, vision and strategy:
1. Female Leadership

 Going back to the historical root of International Women’s Day, the landmark Declaration, adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948, reaffirms that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, … birth or other status.”­­

  • ­­­Global Economic Statistics: countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunity. Advancing the status of women and girls is critical to achieving successful outcomes for U.S. foreign policy priorities, including stability, prosperity, and peace;
  • Top Business Leadership Statistics: Though compared to male leadership, female executive leadership is obvious underrepresented, statistically, less than 10% of board members are female cross globe. However, research conducted by Catalyst, McKinsey & Co. and others demonstrates that companies with a higher representation of women in senior leadership make better decisions, have better returns, risk management and corporate governance, 10% of underdogs are not enough, can we follow 20/80 rule to show the progress for the next step?
  • Influence on the bottom of human Pyramid: Female leadership will directly impact the progress in education, culture, economy and technology,  and accelerate advancement for human society: “My message to all of them is to persevere, to be strong, to be courageous, to understand their worth and the difference they can make,” said Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer in a recent Voice of America interview.

  • Future of Female Leadership: This year’s theme of International Women’s Day is "Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures", Future is all what we are fighting for, the better future for both men and women, for economy and for our world.

2. X & Y  Generation Leadership

Compared to Baby Boomer, X & Y generation leaders are underdogs, they may have different, but more insightful perspective about leadership,  since every generation experience their own opportunities, difficulties, and social phenomenon to shape cognitive thinking and optinions:

    • Compete with Purpose: Baby Boomers may prefer to think business as a sport game, competing for win is all game about, ; the younger Gen X or Y might have held more mature thought: Business game need be more serious and value-driven, it’s about positive competition, and creative destruction, we need compete with purpose, unite via purposes: economic value, social value and people value;

    • Long term Strategic Thinking: Baby Boomers are used to today’s hierarchically organizational structure,  command –control leadership style, and quarterly financial report-driven short term strategy; Younger generations might be more open minded and natural options thinkers, they will brainstorm the alternative way to think and do the things, rather than just conform to the established method and processes. They are innovators.

    • Win-Win Solution: Baby Boomers are hard working and winning driven, may see the world more about “black & white” with some gray area, or winners and losers, with a few marginal talent, they have winning attitude, but may not be flexible enough to adapt to the accelerated changes facing in human society, the world becomes more interconnected, interdependent and hyper-competitive than ever, Gen X&Y need open the heart and mind to view the business with full spectrum of colors and multitude of choices, to create win-win situation if it’s possible, to perceive the world via multi-dimensional lenses.

May well-blended multi-generational leaders help complement each others point of view, avoid blind spots for strategy making and execution, to re-imagine the art of possible and achieve the high-performance result.

3.Introvert Thought Leadership

Introvert today may still live in the world of extrovert, compared to their extrovert peers, introvert leaders may not so much “look” or “sound” like a leader, if conventional thinking about leadership characteristic is: gregarious and outgoing, speaking and commanding, however, the underdog introvert leaders have their own inward strength:

·        Thought Leadership: Outgoing leaders might love to contribute the solutions or provide the answers to questions; Introvert leaders usually are natural thinkers, they spend more time to ponder the root cause of problem, perceive the future of possibilities, or lead via asking the right questions, thought leadership is beyond style.

·        Listening Skills: The introvert leaders usually are good listeners, they learn before doing, and listen before talking, when they do need speak, they may well target the audience, sharpening listening skills via learning and observing first.

·        Paradoxical Thinking: The introvert leader might also be a good paradoxical thinker, which make them the good conductor to orchestrate leadership music, they enjoy different opinions, with fair judgment,  adjust the speed to make situation driven decision, Think Fast or Think Slow, to adapt to today’s over-complex business world.

4.. Diversity Leadership

Diversity Leadership is an old topic, beyond gender and race, we may need infuse some new themes, compared to “mainstream” leadership, diversity underdogs include:

  • Leaders face multi-layer ceilings: Glass Ceiling female professionals face, bamboo ceiling Asian Americans face, cement ceiling Middle East women face, and silicon ceiling entrepreneurs face, compare to leaders always face the blue sky, these underdog leaders usually have more sense and sensibility,  be more authentic and courageous, their own experience may shape the character and strength, to make them stronger;

  • Citizen by Choice Leadership: or multi-cultural leaders: they become citizens by choice, than by birth, they consciously experience “Seven Years Itch” to learn and melt in, and “Eight Years Trial” to reflect, contemplate, and practice, their beliefs enhance their stamina, their trust give them patience, their underdog leadership essential may make broader influence via the depth of cultural understanding and cognitive wisdom.
5. Underdog Company Leadership ­­

 Every industry, there’re always top dog and underdog leading companies, they improve and transform their businesses via competition and even collaboration.

Underdog businesses as underdog leaders, with its own humble root and unique legacy, they intend to survive, and inspire to thrive, they keep clear vision without status quo, they are in pursuit of excellence by choice, we wish them Build to Last and from Good to Great!

If you are within all these categories, congratulation, you are underdog superstar! Let’s make March 8th not just women’s day, it’s an overwhelming underdog day, it’s time to share and shine, stretch up and speak out, unite men and women to revitalize a better world.

Share this article :

Post a Comment

Support : Creating Website | Johny Template | Mas Template
Copyright © 2011. Personal Inspiration - All Rights Reserved
Template Created by Creating Website Published by Mas Template
Proudly powered by Blogger