There’s been alot of interest in my recent posts about the global leadership traits that social entrepreneurs can learn from UN Secretaries-General and how to incorporate social responsibility in your business ideas.
In two of my recent articles, I examine Kille’s findings about global social leadership as seen in his book ‘From Manager to Visionary‘.
You can read them here: ‘6 Personality Traits That Social Entrepreneurs Can Learn from UN Secretaries-General‘ and ‘Comparing 3 Styles of Global Social Leadership‘
Social Entrepreneurship in Politics, Government & International Affairs…Is it Possible?
UN Secretaries-General naturally are tasked with an immense job of ensuring the world’s peace, development and human rights by balancing the interests of nation states. While it necessitates social leadership qualities, it has been described as “the most impossible job on earth.”
I was happy to find that one of our dedicated readers contacted me regarding these posts. He referred to the idea that social entrepreneurs could learn leadership qualities from global leaders in international relations.
However, his comment was this: “I began to wonder if the converse was also true.”
That struck me, and I began pondering about it. Now, I’d like to pose that question to you, too.
Is it Possible For Public Leaders to be Social Entrepreneurs?
Certainly, leaders in politics or government or international organizations do deal with social issues. However, do they have the scope to even be social entrepreneurial? Or are they merely bureaucrats or managers that happen to deal with social concerns?
From Kille’s own book, he talks about how a number of UN Secretaries-General were themselves mere managers. He conveys the idea that they were more passive in their approach and bent easily to the will of other, “more powerful” interests. In my opinion, it’s difficult to say that such leaders may be deemed as social entrepreneurs, especially when they lack an “entrepreneurial spirit”.
On the other hand, politicians, bureaucrats in government and even civil servants in international organizations, may even find it difficult to be too “entrepreneurial” in their social causes. Particularly when their large organizations often have to deal with procedural slowness and inside political debates, which can definitely hamper social innovations within governments and international organizations including the United Nations.
From Public Authority to Social Entrepreneur
With these considerations in mind, can we really say that leaders in politics and government and public international organizations have the capacity to be social entrepreneurs?
Perhaps they’d be classified as ‘political entrepreneurs’ at best? What do you think?
Overall, I think what’s important here is that inspirational leadership lessons can be learned from all walks of life – from politics, business and even social enterprise.
And because social entrepreneurs are so engaged in passion-driven projects and innovative solutions surrounding social responsibility to help complex social problems, even those in public offices can learn a thing or two from social entrepreneurs worldwide.