Successful leaders are the power and intellect behind their organizations. They are the visionaries charged with steering their brand around pitfalls. They must know when to seize opportunities and how to rally employees to work hard toward their company’s goals.
Effective leaders transcend the title of “manager” or “boss.” They have found a way to achieve the right combination of charisma, enthusiasm, and self-assurance, probably with a healthy dose of luck and timing. It may seem like some people are just gifted with these skills, but the truth is that most leadership traits can be learned and sharpened with time and practice.
Exceptional leaders have the ability to look into their company’s future and make clear, concrete goals that will benefit their organization. They are confident and optimistic, inspiring enthusiasm in those around them. Being a visionary is about managing change while striking a balance between stability and growth. These exceptional starlets incorporate new approaches without getting distracted from the main goals.
These attributes shed the spotlight on Lisa Gable, former US Ambassador and recently, sits at the position of Chair of “World in 2050,” the global futuristic think tank of the Diplomatic Courier Chair.
Lisa’s 40-year career spans leadership roles in government, business, and philanthropy. I have served as CEO, US Ambassador and UN Delegate, and have counselled Fortune 500 companies in their efforts to advance society and turnaround projects and organizations.
In an interview with Insights Success, Lisa shares valuable facts highlighting her professional tenure and her journey in the dynamic industry.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your company and its mission and vision; how does your company thrive towards enabling advancements in the ever-evolving modern industry?
I recently accepted the position of Chair of “World in 2050,” the global futuristic think tank of the Diplomatic Courier.
The Diplomatic Courier, founded by CEO Ana Rold, is the flagship media network and magazine for top diplomats in Washington, DC, New York, Brussels, Geneva, and 182 countries around the world.
World in 2050 was created to address how major global forces such as demographic changes, resource stress, technology advances, and economic power shifts will affect our future. To date, they have convened over 20,000 multi-national stakeholders and futurists in the public and private sectors, answering challenging questions about the future of society and galvanizing solutions through unique collaborations.
The organization models outcomes using a spectrum of signals, opinion polling, social sentiment, and megatrends, including:
- Exponential technologies radically reshaping the world.
- Climate change disrupting our lives.
- The future of the workplace caring more about skills.
- Societal distrust and fragmentation surging.
- The weakening of democracy and the rule of law.
I am honored to support Ana and her team as the organization, like the world, goes through a period of exponential growth.
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position in your company. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
I view my life in three distinct phases, each with its own challenges.
Phase one was my credentialing phase, where I built the foundation for my career path. I attended the University of Virginia and Georgetown University National Security Studies graduate program while working at the Department of Defense and the White House. I leveraged my experience in dual-use technologies to secure a job at Intel Corporation working as a troubleshooter for an executive who would become CEO and Chairman of the Board.
I was often the only woman in the room, surrounded by military brass, political figures, and CEOs. I learned to build relevance for any idea I promoted by using advanced preparation, data, and research as my secret weapon.
Phase two was my impact phase. I leveraged the credentials and skills I gained to help organizations, projects, and teams change course when they were headed south. I became well known as an expert in going deep into the moment, identifying the north star, evaluating the unintended consequences of good intentions, and using a unified vision and a big idea to drive results. Instead of throwing money at problems, I built an ecosystem of partnerships and sought out new people with differing opinions. Most importantly, I made success a team sport.
Phase three is determining how I can best deploy my experiences to enable and support the next generation of leaders and those who are investing in solutions to solve big problems.
Enlighten us on how you have impacted the industry through your expertise in the market.
Currently, as part of World in 2050, we are tapping into a global brain trust which crosses industries and the philanthropic and government sectors to answer four critical questions:
- What does a best-possible future look like?
- How can we help it arrive well?
- What must depart for that future to arrive well?
- How do we help it depart well?
We have innovation labs which are multiyear collective intelligence spaces where we experiment on how to build better future outcomes for our society’s biggest problems. We deliver that information through various communications platforms, including blogs and articles, research papers, policy playbooks, bookazines, video explainers, and more.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
The founder of World in 2050, as well as team members and advisors, are all people with brilliant minds and generous hearts, yet they are also humble. We recognize that the world has become fractured and siloed. We see this as a unique moment to seek out diverse points of view, identify strength in cultural differences, and relentlessly focus on fostering uncommon collaborations across multiple sectors. No one claims to have all the answers, but we can bring the smartest and most adept thought leaders into the room to find solutions.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you advancing towards technological innovations to make your solutions resourceful?
Last summer, we launched our inaugural Innovation Lab, which convened a large group of experts in a collective intelligence experiment. We brought together stakeholders from six continents in a productive and meaningful way, leveraging a process that combined in-person conversation with time to reflect and write on individual schedules.
Based on the success of our methodology, we recently announced our new platform bridge, which houses our action-oriented community. The bridge is driven by collaborators’ ideas and innovation for a better world. The platform allows delegates to connect and network together in real time, as well as access multimedia, special reports, and invitation-only events.
What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?
Inflection points are happening at a dizzying pace, so we need to be agile and planful, and embrace our inner unicorns. This means building an ecosystem that constantly integrates and upgrades how we curate and create meaningful discussion while rapidly communicating actionable input in a manner thought leaders want to receive it.
To do this, we are testing and monitoring innovations in technology and communications to determine how to lift and shift information to new platforms in a cost-effective manner that most effectively engages our customer—the world’s key decision-makers.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for your company?
Our goal is to innovate a future that is more Star Trek and less Mad Max. We can only achieve that if we become the premier global collaborative that facilitates a passing of the baton between consecutive generations of thought leaders and decision-makers over the next 27 years and beyond.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the dynamic industry?
You can’t be all things to all people. Focus on your core competencies, leave your ego at the door, and start collaborating.