Shining the Leadership Light
Not too long ago, the world was mesmerized when 12 members of a Thai soccer team and their coach were saved after being trapped inside a cave. We watched breathlessly and applauded the rescue team’s expertise, multi-country talent, planning, knowledge, optimism, courage, and willingness to take risk. They had to work fast and accurately against a ticking clock; assess the needs of the children and coach; take the right precautions; and make their best decisions in a life-threatening situation. Not only did they plan and execute the mission, they also had to teach their “rescuees” how to move through a complex series of maneuvers. It was leadership in action.
Events like this one show us how much it matters to work well together, to put the best minds and talents in motion when we need to solve an intricate challenge or support a business’s ambitious strategic objectives. It underscores the importance of collaborating with our colleagues and clients so we can educate each other on issues, options, efficiencies, and innovations. This is especially important today, when the path we are traveling has many unknowns, and we are discerning what the future of work and business will look like. Though we are shining a light on the future and not through a maze of caves, we’re still offering guidance around a complex series of maneuvers.
Those maneuvers can take many forms. In our business, we might be asked to deploy an employee with a family from Europe to Singapore, help a single parent find the right school for a special-needs child in London, or move a U.S. employee from a low-cost region on the East Coast to a costlier West Coast location. We face coexisting complexities that involve a changing global workforce, demographic flux, talent and skills shortages, geopolitical shifts, housing differences, immigration variables, the advantages and challenges of automation and technology . . . the list is boundless. With so many possible combinations of factors, it’s essential that we build and maintain proficiency in many competencies, develop an exceptional service partner network, stay close to our clients to understand their concerns and needs, and undertake our work with a high level of emotional intelligence.
Today’s business environment is moving rapidly and vigorously in many directions at once. Contemporary leaders must be able to first learn about and then guide others through many levels of disruption to emerge, transformed and poised for a new iteration of business. While we are focused on helping our clients grow, we must also offer stability and continuity in a sea of change, providing insight to the future of our industry. To be effective chaperones in this setting, we are blessed with the best of both worlds: a connection to the strength of the Atlas® brand—synonymous with solid leadership and enlightened stakeholders—and an autonomy that supports our ability to address the unique business of keeping the world’s workforce mobile. Although we don’t have a constant audience glued to their TVs or devices, watching our every move on the news with breathless anticipation, those who are watching us will see effective leadership in action.
President and CEO