As Laidlaw Scholars we are entrusted to learn and keep ourselves on the right path to become future leaders. With this in mind, I feel that Global Citizenship and Ethical Leadership should be engrained in the values that we must hold. But what do those terms really mean? In my eyes, the whole thing is subjective as one’s definition of the terms could differ from person to person based on their background and the influences they come across in their lives. So for this blog, I’ll explain what these two terms mean to me.
Global citizenship is defined as having one’s identity transcend beyond political and geographical borders. In other words, focusing on identifying as human and not worrying about race. This definition is a bit confusing for me. As a Filipino-born Irish citizen, I find it very important to identify my own history and be proud of my culture. How I would view global citizenship is having the freedom to collaborate with other people regardless of their social status in the world.
I’ve been through four years of university and (as of writing this) am starting my second job ever. Throughout that time, I’ve met some fantastic and talented people whom I have the honour of working and collaborating with. However, I never stopped and think about their race or their upbringing. All I saw were smart individuals doing amazing things. That in my eyes is the essence of global citizenship - working together without discriminating against one another. To me, future generations and leaders should have that built into their work ethics. They should never shut down a potentially talented person based on their background as working together is, in my eyes, the foundation of humanity.
Me and some of the team at the last internship I worked at
Then we move on to ethical leadership. During my LiA I was left on my own to introduce NHS staff to new technologies and the benefits to their everyday lives. My main approach was to first introduce the technology by performing demonstrations in their work environments and providing historical data showing the technology working. In this sense, I had to build a level of trust between the NHS staff, myself and the technology before I even tried to train them.
This idea of building trust is how I feel about ethical leadership. Ethical leadership is not just about not doing bad things to harm others - it’s an optional, but welcomed, way of building trust with those around you. If those around you know that you can be trusted, they are more likely to follow. Leaders are influencers. Influencers usually have large groups following them and looking up to them. Influencers (in this case leaders) have a duty to be trustworthy with those who look up to them, and it’s a shame to see that this is not the case in a large number of governmental bodies.
As this year’s cohorts are coming to the end of the Laidlaw program, I hope that the talented individuals, whose company I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of this past year, are able to take these two values wherever life takes them. We live in exceptional times - and I hope that the future generation of leaders are able to step up and take us to new heights.