On Value-based Leadership, Jill Ellen Abramson, the first ever female editor of New York Times talks to academia and business and captures some signs of our times – We have moved from “what got you here will not get you there – to – will not even keep you here”. Our capacity to reinvent ourselves will be tested to the hilt. Increasingly, it is character and not competence that will matter. A definition of leadership is – service to society, to inspire people to dedicate themselves to the company purpose. What moves people is ‘profit and purpose’, ‘money and meaning’. Unfortunately, correlation between the two is virtually zero. Very few are high on both profit and purpose. We all know what the right thing to do is, but don’t know how to do it.

Soul Searching at Davos, I have now been attending Davos for 7-8 years wearing my Spouse hat. I come back invigorated, my head buzzing with ideas and a sense of comfort from the discovery that ‘experts’ too are fallible. The atmosphere is charged with political tensions, economic flashpoints, new frontiers in science, and lots of sharp good-looking finance types with even better looking wives.

Unlike previous years, this year the regular issues like sustainability, Emerging Markets and rogue States have taken a back seat to debates on Leadership and values, Capitalism – the default system for a civilised world or so we thought, Challenges to Global Growth, risks and rewards of Technology and Social Connectivity, Globalisation – the failed messiah that was meant to bring equality, and above all the price we have all paid for our profligacy.

I think the theme should be SOUL SEARCHING – let us cut to the chase please. Time to stop, think and debate – how did we get here, why was what seemed good for all hijacked by lords of finance and big corporations for their own good. Everything this year seems under scrutiny.

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