The Lead: Huawei’s CFO, Conduct Leadership Audit, Montreal’s AI Sector

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Huawei’s CFO Charged with Violating U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

The Chinese technology company Huawei is the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer, and its CFO Meng Wanzhou was recently arrested for allegedly sending products made in the U.S. to Iran, going against U.S. export and sanction laws. U.S. authorities see Huawei as a national security threat and recently asked allies to restrict Huawei’s business on American soil.

Our View: Leaders who are consistent with enforcing policies retain employees and increase employee moral and overall satisfaction better than those who are inconsistent. Inconsistency hinders business success, and when leaders selectively apply workplace policies, they risk losing employees from low morale and dissatisfaction. Further Reading

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Conduct a Leadership Audit

Conducting a leadership audit is an excellent way to assess your organization’s leadership development programs and your own leadership capabilities. Find time to regularly evaluate and measure your focus, actions, thoughts, communication, and most importantly, your overarching purpose. Strikingly few employees understand their company’s purpose and values. Gallup research shows that only 27% of employees strongly agree they believe in their company’s values, and only 23% of employees strongly agree they can apply their organization’s values to their work every day.

Our View: To lead others, you need to learn to lead yourself first. Leading yourself requires that you articulate a purpose. “Purpose is the great untapped reservoir that leaders can tap into to unleash the potential of their organization. Successful organizations need leaders who know themselves first; have the inner compass that points them in the right direction. Many leaders never take the time to do so. Take time to reflect on what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you will do it,” says author and acclaimed leadership coach John Baldoni. Further Reading

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Montreal’s Accelerating Artificial Intelligence Sector

The artificial intelligence sector in Montreal is booming, and the companies QuantumBlack, WinningMinds, and BIOS recently announced AI projects in Montreal that will bring in 130 new jobs. An ethical framework for AI development and deployment, the Montreal Declaration for Responsible AI, was also recently revealed. It was created with the help of internationally-recognized AI scientist Yoshua Bengio who said “it’s about making sure that the way the technology’s going to be developed isn’t just about profit and money but the interests of ordinary people who don’t have a voice.”

Our View: AI poses favorable openings to address complex strategic and leadership challenges with discovery and agility. Leaders looking to create transformational change can utilize AI to create an empirical feedback loop that can be tested. Leaders must erase their preconceived notions about what they think AI will discover and be prepared to find new kinds of solutions from reframed questions. Further Reading

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Exemplary Transparency from a Nonprofit

It is exceptionally rare for a nonprofit to publicize research that its program as implemented doesn’t work, but the international development charity Evidence Action just did exactly that, which demonstrated an impressive display of the nonprofit’s commitment to research and transparency to donors. Evidence Action expounded that it won’t seek new funds for its own program until it has figured out why it failed.

Our View: Leaders who aren’t afraid of failure and admit to their mistakes establish a stronger follower-ship and create enduring progress. Admitting your mistakes in ways that directly answer your followers’ questions helps build your credibility and authority to lead. Honesty builds trust, and trust builds engagement and in turn, business success. Further Reading

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The Growing Demand for Tiny Homes

The tiny home demand is getting bigger, and according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, over 50 percent of Americans would consider living in a home that’s under 600 square feet. Downsizing doesn’t automatically mean downgrading: tiny homes can be designed with full-sized and high-end fixtures and appliances adding to the tiny home perks of being financially and environmentally friendly. Tiny home owners boast about increases that go beyond their pocketbooks to surges in their time, flexibility, and even peace of mind.

Our View: Finding ways to lead a fuller life with greater impact requires clarification of your values. Leading according to your core values in all domains of your life (work, home, community, and self) requires thoughtful consideration of others as well as deep introspection. Be authentic by clarifying what’s important to you and what’s important to the people who matter to you. Further Reading

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