Sunday, November 06, 2005

International Leadership Assoc Conference

From the beginning of the ILA board meeting through getting the MUDEC students into Amsterdam, preparing for presentations, and reconnecting with colleagues, the ILA conference was incredibly busy - and productive. I'm going to provide just a few highlights of speakers or meetings in which we participated. The picture at the top is off the Wintergarden which is one of the major meeting/dining facilities at the Krasnopolsky, the hotel where the conference was held.

The first two speakers at the ILA conference were particularly noteworthy. The first was a clinical professor at INSEAD (France) and international consultant, Manfred Kets de Vries. The second was Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy and Planning of the United Arab Emirates and CEO of Tejari. One of the most interesting questions raised during the discussion with the second speaker was when Jean Lipman-Blumen (author of The Connective Edge and The Allure of Toxic Leadership) asked what was different since 9-11-01 in the UAE. Her response included that over 100 years of relationship building had been undone and that she was working even harder now to visit the U.S.A. to develop trusting relationships. In addition, she said that inter-faith dialogue has expanded dramatically. Another question was what are the leadership challenges for the UAE. The response was that sustaining economic prosperity, responding to human need, and creating an environment inclusive of diverse cultures.

We had the opportunity to attend several programs that were specifically focused on the EU and leadership. The dynamic of this was very interesting because in some cases it was Europeans talking about the EU and in one case it was professors from the U.S.A. The EU and its relationship to leadership is a fascinating issue, one that is still emerging and can't really be understood or predicted at this point. The sad truth was that the U.S.A. presenters were poorly imformed and presumed to talk about things on which they had little expertise. Thankfully, the Europeans in attendance were not shy about raising questions and making sure that misconceptions were not perpetuated.

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