Lessons for leaders from Davos

Leaders need to “think beyond” to succeed in a multi-stakeholder world and lead in the society, according to London Business School’s Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice.


Prof Gratton, one of four of the School’s faculty attending the World Economic Forum, moderated a number of panels at Davos and found that two emerging themes which stood out beyond the “normal leadership rhetoric”.

Writing on her blog from the Swiss resort, Prof Gratton cited the importance of leading in a multi-stakeholder world and the growing prominence of leading in the society.

She stressed that leaders must develop networks across these stakeholders and understand and deeply empathise with their position.

“The sheer complexity of these stakeholder relationships will also require them to operate successfully in ambiguous, often chaotic circumstances,” she wrote. “These are complex times that will require patience with the process of gaining commitment across multiple stakeholders.”

The leader’s perspective about both their own role and the role of their business in society is also key, Prof Gratton argues, and being a by-stander in leadership is “no longer sufficient.”

“How leaders engage will be determined by their own unique personal values and indeed the core competencies of the businesses they lead,” she stated. “It could be reaching out into the immediate community, working actively on global issues such as poverty or, indeed, engaging employees in community activities.”

Read Prof Gratton’s blog in full at London Business School’s BSR http://bsr.london.edu/blog/post-63/index.html