The Washburn Leadership Experience is centered in the ambition of the Leadership Institute to develop the leaders of the future. This assumes the following:
The Leadership Institute's core philosophical foundation is grounded in two fundamental principles of leadership that need to be in synchronization in order for students to be effective leaders.
The first principle foundation of leadership is the umbrella of self awareness, defined within the context of an individual's worldview. The second principle foundation of leadership is the idea that individuals operate within a multitude of systems which are larger than themselves, and the ability to do so is established through the development of an individual's global mindset. The combination of a worldview and global mindset establish an overarching platform for the institution of integral leadership.
Worldview and global mindset, while clearly implying a context that spans nations, do not necessarily require that international context to be applicable. The terms are intended to suggest that leaders need to look within and beyond them to understand how to be great leaders.
A worldview is an individual's comprehensive framework of basic beliefs which essentially determine how a person understands, feels and responds in action. It provides meaning such that it defines their "map of reality." A worldview functions as an individual's personalized model of how things are in the world, and how they should be.
Worldview impacts leadership.
It influences attitudes toward authenticity and what it means to be a leader (e.g. leading from who you are). It defines whether it is more important to focus on the group or on the individual. It highlights what characteristics are desired in a leader, which differ from culture to culture.
Worldview impacts organizations as well as individuals. More importantly, it impacts the future as it defines responsibility and what therefore is expected. As a result, it impacts the system. For example:
Worldview influences how leadership is perceived, expressed, maintained and transmitted to the next generation of leaders. At the Leadership Institute, it is our express intent to enable our leadership students to understand themselves so they may understand their own current worldview and to assess whether they desire to make adjustments to it as they step toward their future leadership roles. The degree to which we can understand and change ourselves dictates our ability to help with change.
A global mindset is a systematic understanding of culture and connected leadership. According to Dr. Mansour Javidan, Dean of Research at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Global Mindset is a foundation of systematic leadership - it represents individuals, groups, organizations and systems both similar and different than those one is associated with.
An individual is involved in multiple systems at any one point in their lives and are continuously moving out of old systems and into new systems. These systems include their social and family systems, communities they live in and organizations or teams of which they are members. The Global Mindset recognizes that all of these systems are larger than the individual, have histories that precede the individual and will have futures that will outlive the individual. How an individual learns new systems and how they operate and the speed and agility in which they adapt to these systems will determine how quickly and how effectively they will be leaders within and across these systems.
Technology brings people together, but knowing more about each other doesn't necessarily mean people understand each other any better. The challenge to future leaders is developing the ability to influence individuals, groups, organizations and systems outside of their own (that represent diverse cultural, political, institutional, social systems) to help achieve their leadership ambitions. What is the game, what are the rules, how is it played and how do we win? Effective leaders answer these questions for every system they are involved with.
Leaders need a global mindset and need to develop the ability to influence individuals, groups, organizations and systems that are unlike the leaders. At the Leadership Institute, we hope to develop within our leadership students a unique set of attributes that facilitate global leadership - the ability to lead within systems that are different and larger than them. The degree to which we can understand the systems around us and how they operate dictates our ability to influence change within those systems.
The Washburn Leadership Experience
To become an effective leader, an individual must have a worldview and a global mindset; they must have great self awareness and understanding, coupled with a strong ability to understand and adapt to complex systems. One without the other is an incomplete recipe for leadership.
The Washburn Leadership Experience has been developed to align with the core leadership philosophy outlined above. The Leadership Institute will provide the education, experience and empowerment to enable students to understand and nurture their worldview and develop a global mindset, ultimately increasing their ability to effectively create positive change in their world. This will be developed throughout their leadership journey at the Washburn University Leadership Institute.