Canada has a great deal to offer the world when it comes to business leadership and ideas, but we have not worked hard enough at defining, packaging and exporting our unique point of view. We appear to have been more than willing to outsource our leadership thinking, operating models and business principles to the Americans, and that is simply not in our future best interest. As a result, the brand called Canada is seriously underleveraged.
We must make it an urgent priority to breathe new life into our brand or we will miss the opportunity to seize the business leadership baton from the hands of our shaken American and European cousins. We are all going to live in the future, whether we want to or not, and we can’t afford to allow the future to happen by accident or be shaped by others to suit their own ambitions. We have to be deliberate, thoughtful and intentional. We need a strategic plan for the future of our national brand, but we must begin by first nurturing a new leadership mindset for the future and the leadership competencies that go along with it.
Sadly, there are still too few spokespeople in the leadership field in Canada, and their voices are muted in the boardrooms of business because the voices we do hear tend to come from the halls of academia. We need to fill that void with a robust national dialogue on the subject of what constitutes global business leadership for the future, and then we must begin to develop the type of leaders dictated by the context in which we live. We need Canada’s brand to be known, admired and respected around the world, not just for our products and services, but also for our leadership capabilities and the Canadian way of doing business.