A Global Ethic: The Leadership Challenge
A global ethic is a set of core values that transcend national, cultural, and religious differences. As the world begins to function more as a single body than a set of isolated nations, a global ethic becomes increasingly important. "The global ethic is the keystone to the archway," Hitt writes. "Without it, the archway will collapse." Hitt not only defines this ethic, he describes how it serves as a framework for organizational leadership. The principles in A Global Ethic provide the foundation for action, making it an important and timely resource for leaders at all levels of industry and government.
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Apparently a book of the title such as ‘A Global Ethic – The Leadership Challenge’ would appear to be a research document published by a journalist or a sociologist or an expert on political sciences to a first time reader.
The author has taken us through a journey that will start from the reader and will end at the reader’s end with a clear understanding of what is ‘A Global Ethic’, which is a common and inclusive understanding of “beingness” of a human being.
The synopsis of the book is well articulated and gives a clear direction of the journey to be expected by the reader. It gives enough information to proceed by keeping the excitement to know more alive.
First three chapters, though introductory, they create a framework of communication between the author and the reader. The first chapter especially creates a foundation based on the framework created by Karl Jaspers. However, thereon the author starts creating his own model.
In the chapter two, this model becomes more evident and tangible. “The Temple of Humanity” as it is called by the author, virtually becomes a backbone of the rest of the books. However, a table given on pp 18 gives unnecessary fodder to the thought process and may divert the attention of the reader. I feel such summary tables could have been at the end of the book as an appendix and that could have helped the reader to be less turbulent in one’s journey through the book.
Once the framework is established by the author, the next chapter defines certain traits expected out of a globally relevant leader. I found this chapter to be the most entertaining and the author has really communicated his “should be“ condition in a very amicable way.
The role model created by the author and possibility of its achievability established in the readers mind, has created enough motivation to go through a difficult journey, of defining the concepts in the next few chapters. This process helps reader understand the term “wisdom”, and establish its difference with “knowledge”. This journey also helps to change many paradigms, which one lives with. This is because the way to wisdom cannot be walked upon if the reader cannot change one’s mind map.
In a way I also felt an immense influence of Mahatma Gandhi over the author who has very strongly believed that changing the world is a process which must begin from oneself.
After a very deep dive within oneself, it was really very interesting to see how the author links this enlightened, self aware reader to the final goal of the book which is Global Leadership. Just when we reach a point of no return in this deep self awareness process in chapter II through chapter IV, comes a chapter “The Good Life” which compels the reader to look at one’s life and its objectives in the light of society and humanity as a whole.
The next two chapters link this inner self to a global citizen. Global leadership traits are actually the real “ethical values” which the author wanted to imbibe upon the reader. Had these sets of advises given at the beginning, without fully understanding the temple of humanity, could have been effect less for a reader.
However, the journey of understanding this “temple of humanity” through various temples namely “temple of human potentials”, “temple of wisdom”, and “temple of hope” has made the reader to think the four basic questions about one’s life as defined by a philosopher, Immanuel Kant. These four questions which otherwise compel one to think – 1) who am I? 2) What can I know? 3) What should I do? And 4) what can I hope for? (All in a context of my life), have been very successfully “globalized” by the author. He leaves us with probable answerers, which are very self-driven. And that is why, what we achieve at the end of reading of this book, is a framework to know a globalBy Sunil Joshi, PhD student at NMIMS University , Mumbai, India
WHY A GLOBAL ETHIC?
THE FULLY FUNCTIONING PERSON
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