The term “leadership” is getting a lot of attention these days. According to author Dr. Muteba Mukendi, citing a survey published by the World Economic Forum, the world is facing a leadership crisis. In fact, Mukendi shares the results of a 2016 Gallup poll that, “of the 35,000 leaders surveyed, 82% of managers aren’t very good at leading people.” It’s not surprising, therefore, that many graduate business schools are now adding courses to their curriculum that concentrate on the discipline.
A Leadership Crisis
In his newest book, Leadership for Such a Time as This: a Leader’s Journey to Global Inclusivity, Dr. Mukendi cites three reasons for this crisis: the increased globalization of our commercial world with its intersectional and cultural differences, the post-Covid work environment nuances, and recent technological innovations that push many previous staff-oriented positions to think more about their roles in terms customer service, collaboration, and business partnering across borders.
Mukendi speaks from a position of authority on the subject. An American citizen by birth, he spent years of his childhood experiencing cultural differences among several African nations as his family moved about the continent. He quickly learned not to judge a book or a continent by its cover: that economic, political, and ecological issues can change drastically from one border to the next. As an adult, his several academic degrees in combination with his finance work at Unilever and his exposure to large multinational corporate challenges as a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting make his assessments worthy of our time.
Global Inclusive Leadership
Mukendi offers a solution under the heading of Global Inclusive Leadership (GIL). It involves equating strategy with culture, and implores us to both understand country-to-country culture while developing an internally consistent corporate culture. It requires inclusive behavior to generate a sense of belonging at all levels of the organization, and he provides insight on how to implement this culture. Unlike many academic books that are long on recommendations but short on practical solutions, each chapter of this book ends with questions that today’s leaders need to ask themselves about key aspects of their business: inclusivity vs exclusion, culture, integration, intersectional business dealings, ethical behavior, and organizational development.
According to Mukendi…
“The global inclusive leader is a mindful leader who understands what they contribute to the team, the community, and society at-large. Globalization has made it abundantly apparent that we can no longer operate in a vacuum; we are all part of a global ecosystem. I insist on the value of inclusivity because, for global inclusive leaders to exist, the first barrier is understanding that everyone must be part of the solution.”
An important note: this is not a book about DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion). From Mukendi: “Although I championed several DEI causes in my career, I wrote this book from a leadership perspective….I was looking for what leadership style was required for today, and global inclusive leadership is the answer, and this book will show why. You will see many DEI topics; however, the intent was to create a book that explains how to solve our leadership challenge.”
The book is being published today – July 5, 2023. I was fortunate that Dr. Mukendi offered me an advance copy. I highly recommend this read.
Former COO of Baseline Financial Services, and Author of Undaunted: Leadership Amid Growth and Adversity