As you may know since you read The Exchange, I’m the dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College. As such, I work with some amazing faculty. Today I am glad to welcome Dr. Rochelle Scheuermann to The Exchange talking about global leaderhsip, how it is different, and Wheaton College’s newest flexible M.A. program in the area.
Ed: What are some of the challenges for global leaders as they engage with different nations and cultures from their own? Some of the blessings?
Rochelle: In global spaces, leaders need to have the cultural skills to understand how cultural, social, and historical realities impact the ways in which they communicate with one another; the ways in which they think about leadership skills and traits; and how they approach organization, conflict resolution, strategy development and execution of goals.
In the past, we used to think that countries were fairly mono-cultural and that reading a book about the culture we were visiting was enough. In today’s globalized world, however, that’s not sufficient. We need skills that cross multiple cultures and connect multiple places simultaneously, and that takes a deeper understanding of leadership across cultures.
By addressing these considerations within a variety of topics, leaders navigate the challenges faced in multicultural, multigenerational, multinational organizations and maximize the blessings of global connection, corporation, and perspective.
Ed: We talk about the intersection of faith and leadership. Why do Chrisitan leaders need to learn how to lean into such global spaces.
Rochelle: We are integrated beings which means our faith is not separate from what we do. I believe that faith in Christ undergirds and infuses every aspect of our lives and so in whatever sphere I’m in, whether it’s in a faith-based setting or not, I want to pursue leadership from the conviction that my life and my work have kingdom purpose. That’s thinking christianly about leadership and the world around us.
We are not first Chinese or German. We are first Christian, but we are world Christians. So, we need to know how to lead across God’s world.
At Wheaton, we are committed to Christ-centered vocation. The M.A. in Global Leadership will focus on developing student’s personal faith and leadership so that they, as whole beings, can develop and lead others. Everything that students study will be viewed through a Christian worldview. This is a unique focus that makes Wheaton stand out from other programs out there.