Sep 16

The Leadership Challenge Post-Brexit: to keep 'out there out' or 'in'?


How do we proceed? What approach will work best?


It's a challenge-rich time in need of inspiring leaders 

Following the UK - well, largely English - decision to leave the European Union, it's a bit of an understatement to note that there are many leadership challenges ahead.

If we take the long-term view that things will get better with time and it's all going to work out in the end .. then it might be useful to remember what the ever-interesting Lolly Daskal (@LollyDaskal) tweets ..

    Sometimes you have to suffer through the worst to learn how to       make it through to the best 

Or ... as Elaine Perry tweets in the words of the irreplaceable Frank Sinatra ..

     The best revenge is massive success.     @elaine_perry

Here's hoping for truly massive success!  And -bearing in mind the new-ish UK Prime Minister was actually in the so-called Remain camp .. in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson as tweeted by Roy Bennett (@inspiringthinkn) ..

    Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.

And,  i would argue that inspiration is what is needed.  Whatever fears our UK post-Brexit leaders may have, they most definitely need to keep them quiet and inspire the country, and indeed spread that inspiration way beyond the UK.   At this point in time, though, there seems to be little idea of what ideas such inspiration will spread.  Ideas are the bedrock of inspiration.   As JFK said ...

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on (As tweeted by Nathan Floyd @411onthisstuff).

Or as tweeted by Claudio Toyama (@ClaudioGT) in the words of  Norman Vincent Peale:

    Change your thoughts and you change your world


Where leaders and their inspiration reside ...

The Inspirational Challenge 

If we accept that leadership needs to inspire and leaders need to enthuse us with their ideas .. there is a  inherent challenge.   For Brexited Britain to be successful we will need .. well, the world!  Having shut the door - or at least just left it a tiny bit ajar - on the European market .. there are all those other countries 'out there'. Britain is good at 'out there' or 'over there' kind of language as of course we are a small island.  Regardless of how much you view a desire to 'keep out there out' as a foundation stone of Brexit success, the fact that the EU referendum eased the door a bit more .. closed .. is a huge challenge.  Hopefully leadership can indeed convince 'out there' not to stay 'out there' but .. to come ...  'in here'.  And ... surely you can see the inherent irony of that inspirational challenge!?

I feel the irony for higher education - we like and, yes, need 'out there' to come in here and share a globally focused learning journey. We simply can't afford - on so many levels - to shut ourselves off from the richness that is out there in this amazing world.  A new BA Education Studies (Primary) degree at my university, the Open Univesity, has gone to great lengths to ensure a focus on global education issues particularly at the coming Level 3 stage in the new qualification.   So .. do our leadership possess the skills to spread the idea inspiringly that we are in fact open to the world?


The world is fast-paced. Can leadership inspire forward thinking .. or are we stuck in past red phone boxes?



So, the challenge is essentially how to square what unquestionably inspired many to vote leave - a desire to keep 'out there out' - with the forward-looking need to enthuse 'out there to keep coming in here'.  While remote working and the worldwide web might, in theory, enable us to do business 'out there' without ever having to either gon'out there' or have 'out there come in' .. let's face it .. that's not really going to work is it!?

Surely collaborative working has to be at the heart of 21st century business with global interests 'out there'.  Indeed Gary Hensel (@garyhensel) on Twitter quotes Jessy Lyn Stoner:

     When you collaborate, you find creative win-win solution

.. and surely collaboration has to merge 'out there' and 'in here'


Raise the Bridge! There's a journey ahead!


The Journey Ahead - Inspiring Leadership Needed! 

It is worth noting as tweeted by Shawn Upchurch (@ShawnUpchurch)

  Leadership is an ever-evolving position. (Mike Krzyzewski)

I suspect fast-paced leadership evolution is required in post-Brexit world!

As Nathan Floyd (@411onthisstuff) points out on Twitter:

   We discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop conforming to our own and other people's models. 

Nin-conformist leadership of that ilk might be itself a significant challenge for any political leader - and doubly so in post-Brexit world! Surely, over-conforming leadership though runs in conflict with the need to inspire others with those all-important ideas that will live on.  But to soften the political blow of not conforming  .. as Dr Aleesha Dhillon (@wellness_igp_uk) notes on Twitter:

    The next time you feel someone is negative towards you, remember it's not a reflection on you 

Finally, as Tamara McCleary (@TamaraMcCleary) tweets:

   Leaders don't force others to follow. They invite others on a journey.   (Charles Layer)

The post-Brexit journey is inherently challenging   Here, I've drawn attention to what I'll call the 'out there' - 'in here' conundrum   Collaboration on any level requires a bit of both   Globally relevant business requires a bit of both   The journey ahead requires a bit if both   We need informed and thoughtful inspiration to take us along that Jouney    Or .. we just stay on our island, don't go anywhere and don't let any 'out there' ..'in here' ...



(All Twitter content cited here comes from just some of my excellent Twitter followers   Enjoy more of them by following them on Twitter)


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2 Responses for "The Leadership Challenge Post-Brexit: to keep 'out there out' or 'in'?"

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