February 28, 2012,17:53 +0900(JST) Global Leadership Program
Two weeks ago, Sumitomo Electric Group held the Global Leadership Program (GLP). Today I would like to report on the program as I did in my last year’s entries.
This time around, the training session consisted of three days of lectures and group discussions. Participants comprised 37 management personnel from 28 companies in 17 countries and regions. Divided into small groups, participants discussed leaders in the Sumitomo Electric Group on the theme: “What should you do as a leader to make your team strong?” Each group formed an opinion, which was presented on the final day of the program.
As part of the training program, I delivered a lecture in English for about an hour on such topics as the Sumitomo Spirit, the basics of personnel management, and the relationship between human resource development and corporate growth, although it was difficult for me to convey subtle nuances implied in Japanese words.
This year, group discussions were held using a method of problem solving known as Appreciative Inquiry, of which I will not go into detail. In each team, all members shared their successful experiences as a leader and described the kind of leader he or she wants to be in the future. Then, each group visually presented an ideal leader using three-dimensional objects and summed it up in a keyword.
Participants, comprising males and females of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, had a heated discussion, expressing differing opinions in a straightforward manner. I would say that these group discussions served as an opportunity for them to experience diversity firsthand.
After a closing presentation, in which discussion results were reported by each group, I presented my own image of an ideal leader and some qualities and skills needed to be a good leader. In addition to having intelligence, physical strength and guts as foundations, leaders should be patient, keep calm with a natural posture, act in good faith, be fair and square, have acquired wide and in-depth knowledge in liberal arts, and so on. Lastly, I also mentioned selflessness as a necessary trait.
At the festive party, held at the end of the Global Leadership Program, I had a constant stream of participants coming up to talk to me. I was very happy to have the opportunity to deepen exchanges with them.
I hope that the managers who took part in this program will exert leadership in their capacities or at their work sites to achieve the collective goals of the Sumitomo Electric Group.