Leaders of Tomorrow Wanted

Succeeding in increasingly complex scenarios requires learning to learn constantly. Examples of those already on this path may help.


By Estela Cangerana

Unpredictability, rapid transformations, ambiguities. Leading is no easy task these days, and at the same time more and more leadership is being called upon to drive the new economy, whether through entrepreneurship, people and project management, and even managing one’s own life. What is the formula to make the right decision? How to be prepared to respond to the demands of today’s world? What qualifications should one have and how to develop them? Without magic or ready-made formulas, the secret may lie in continuous learning.

“We live in days when leading means much more than in the past. The world is considerably more volatile. The high degree of uncertainty greatly hinders the anticipation of the facts for decision making. We will never be ready. You have to know that and be aware that the big challenge is learning to learn,” says mentor Ronaldo Ramos, an executive with over 30 years of experience in large multinationals and founding partner of a multidisciplinary executive mentoring company, called CEOLab.

According to him, it is essential to develop the ability to manage self-knowledge. “The process itself has to be different. It needs to happen both individually and with others by cultivating the ability to learn collaboratively. Also it is very important to know how to unlearn and detach from old knowledge and beliefs that can damage our current vision”.

Believing that solutions that worked in the past will work just as effectively today is a trap, as Ramos explains. Hence the need to have “the learner’s eye and not the teacher’s eye”, and to be open to different views and perspectives.

This learning is intrinsically related to the development of important soft skills, such as analytical skills, investing in interpersonal relationships, context reading, and willingness to act. Even with all this, according to the mentor, one must be aware that the error can happen and should be incorporated into the decision zone. “We cannot lose sight of error, which is an inexhaustible source of knowledge.”

Global look

The process is ongoing and not only involves formal leaders or C-Level executives. Still, learning collaboratively presupposes the formation of teams with diversity, with coexistence and exchange of experiences between professionals of different profiles and different levels. Companies with more modern management models are increasingly investing in this leadership development model, with extremely positive results. The Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) is one of them.

“CCBC, as a modern and active organization that seeks to bring people, companies, public and private institutions closer together, has close relationships with member companies, partners, governmental and private organizations, and it is of fundamental importance that we have a professional body able to respond with the utmost quality and effectiveness to the demands of the current scenario. To do this, these professionals need to know how to deal with the complexities and demands of today’s world,” says CCBC Executive Director of Operations Cássia Regina Vanícola. “We strive for excellence in conducting our activities. And when we talk about our activities, we are essentially talking about the relationship between people.”

Attention to skills improvement is ongoing and CCBC professionals participate in leadership programs, team building, technical training, and also in the areas of ethics and empathy development, for example. “We have a series of discussions with groups of leaders, professionals from different profiles and complementary teams. We nurture a diverse environment with a participating culture and rapprochement between people. Thus, the contact becomes richer and more interesting, both from a professional and personal point of view, reflecting on decision making, assertiveness in the provision of our services and the quality of life of the professional ”, explains Cássia. These projects are supported by CCBC president Paulo Perrotti and CAM-CCBC president, Eleonora Coelho.

In addition to improving the organizational climate, the productivity and positive feedbacks from members of the Chamber have shown that “we are on the right track,” adds Cássia.