What Does it Take to Create Global Leaders?


I’m excited to announce an important milestone in 2015, as we begin celebrating Greenheart International’s 30th Anniversary. In my presentation at one of our largest Greenheart conference events, I wanted to touch upon the theme of “30 Years of Creating Global Leaders,” and define the word “global” as it applies to these very important and challenging times.

When we say “creating a global leader,” I mean global as in the whole earth, planetary, maybe even cosmic, sense of the word. One of the keys to developing this sense of global leadership is to constantly try and find an ever-larger perspective on any given issue. Most often we tend to enjoy the comforts of our personal understanding of the world that shapes our view, but to grow we need to push outward toward a larger sense of community. This is why cultural exchange is so important, because it forces us to enlarge our worldview.

To avoid the pitfalls of our material descent in our evolutionary trajectory, we must move beyond our engrained identities to our self, towns, states, and nations. This limited, materialistic perspective is creating pressing global issues. Our materialistic values have a lot to do with this sense of what’s “mine,” and reverting to our basic survival instincts.

But to develop as global leaders, we have to remove our identity to our possessions. The concept of sharing is simple, but to eliminate the fear that is deeply rooted in running out of resources takes a broadened understanding of our connection to the whole of humanity.

We first must be an example of compassion and cooperation to draw others out of their comfort zone and into a more holistic perspective. As effective leaders, we can then work from the outside in to help inspire others to continue to play the edge of their own understanding.

We can no longer be ignorant to the fact that we are a global village. Pollution and political unrest are not confined to an arbitrary state or country border. The air pollution in China affects the west coast of California; our air pollution ends up in the Gulf Stream heading over Europe, and so on.

As global leaders, we must embrace the idea of being a planetary citizen. What are we doing to make a positive impact on the planet? It’s time to create an ever-higher state of consciousness that offers compassion and respect to the whole of humanity.

Our cultural conditioning has been deeply engrained into our psyche. We think of personal, state and country borderlines as physical barriers separating us from our neighbors. But these are all imaginary lines. There are no borders – they are just cultural walls that need to be brought down with the help of emerging global leadership.

How are you developing as a global leader? Share below!

Comments 2

  1. I realize I’m preaching to the choir, but this is the foundation of what I do. I’m currently co-teaching an internationally diverse honors colloquium titled “Tranformative Leadership”, and it is a challenge to inspire my students. First, what is a leader? And then what is a transformative leader? And finally, other than the obvious head-of-state, SG of the UN, or a transnational corporate CEO, how can the average person be a global leader?

    We who are working to inspire the next generation, who indentify as mentors, teachers, or transformative leaders have to demonstrate to our students a complex gestalt by working in several domains at once: one to expand individual perspectives and worldviews; another to encourage action at basic levels – personal, within the family and social group, and across local and diverse communities; and a third to promote dialogue and a narrative that ties the simple, everyday personal action and behavior to global and evolutionary issues.

    Group environmental projects are a good starting point. They generate and amplify a connection to the earth, improve conditions for all life, foster collaborative teamwork, and build a sense of community.

    We must remind developing transformative leaders to critique inequitable practices, practice intercultural understanding, and promote democratic participation. Global transformative leaders must question existing norms that marginalize others, embody a sense of service to the common good, exemplify compassion and forgiveness, respect the dignity of human beings and the integrity of the bioshpere, create safe spaces for all voices to be heard, and to speak for the voiceless.

    The journey is a struggle – for social and economic justice, for personal growth, for right livelihood, for spiritual enlightenment, and ultimately for a peaceful and sustainable future.

  2. Thanks for your eloquent comments. Group environmental projects are, indeed, a great way to get started. At Greenheart International we encourage our thousands of participates to join in on such projects and join the Greenheart Club, which anyone can do at and then log their volunteer hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.