Building a Great Nation
Alain Paul Martin
Harvard Fellow, Advanced Leadership

Newly-elected presidents, governors, prime ministers and mayors are on a never-ending journey to excel with better knowledge and skills, commendable attitudes and a behavior governed by fair play, compassion, courage and ethics. They have to earn the trust and commitment of their teams and constituents every day. That is how they set a tone of authenticity for their Cabinet and teams.

As expressed on the left slide in the image below, the first pre-requisite is “staying on the high ground”, a sacred and non-negotiable principle for exemplary leaders, be they at helm of a team, an organization or a country. This principle embodies transparency, honesty, caring, courage, treating everyone, including adversaries, with utmost respect and civility; building trust; acting diligently and with dignity based on facts and reason; preventing, minimizing and resolving both real and perceived harm and conflict of interest; erring on the side of caution; being mission driven not event driven; and avoiding the myopia of egocentric regionalism and nationalism. It is worthwhile to reiterate that these behavioral traits are vital for all leaders, and nowhere more crucial than for those whose actions and words affect countless lives and ecological balance.

Two versions of this workshop exist targeting the public sector, NGOs and private companies.

With the help of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (right), Alain Paul Martin (left) is delivering a session of the public-service version of his World Seminar on governance titled “Building a Great Nation”, at the invitation of the Canadian Government's Members of Parliament.

Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse