Leadership Needs More Diversity And Less Supremacy

Leadership Needs More Diversity And Less Supremacy

Leadership is a universal language reliant on diversity, concludes new research exploring the perceptions of leadership in twenty-two different industries and sectors.

The study examined these varied domains to ascertain views held within each about the challenges that leaders face, to determine whether, in some instances, ‘persistent problems’ and consequent solutions are unique to the domain.

The findings are fascinating and surprising, though somewhat worrying.

Of the twenty-two industries and sectors, education leaders believe most strongly that their domain presents unique persistent problems that are more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous than any other domain – even Financial Services, which according to Rita Trehan “is a fallacy.” After all, how do you stabilize a stock market when the coronavirus is seemingly destroying economic growth?

The former Fortune 200 Chief Human Resources Officer turned global HR and transformation advisor says, “educators want to believe their domain is special, unlike any other – driving a feeling of intellectual superiority and enlightenment.” And thus, “knowledge of leadership outside the education domain is often considered inapplicable within it because it fails to take account of its uniqueness, and superiority as a domain.”

Terence Mauri, a bestselling author residing at London Business School agrees, suggesting gems of understanding from twenty-one domains are being dismissed, leaving only education domain thinking – which typically focuses on pedagogy, not leadership – “thus reducing cognitive diversity” he says. This view is shared by Educational CEO Dan Morrow, who concludes, “our domain considers leadership through the lens of pedagogy.” Consequently, “leaders often insulate themselves from wider leadership expertise, framed through a position of uniqueness that doesn’t and has never existed. What we do in education is special, indeed, but special does not connote unique.”