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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second What I think influences my decisions the most is probably all three, so in terms of past, present, and future. However, I probably put more emphasis on the past. And I find I do that because it gives me more insight on great best practises and successes from other people and other decision makers, but more importantly, the mistakes and challenge and lessons that they’ve gained that I think we need to really take forward. In terms of a personal examples, I have plenty. There’s tonnes of examples where I can give where I could or should have learned or had the wisdom by now to have learned from past lessons.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds However, I think we don’t need any more than to look at front page news to know the importance of actually looking and examining the past, to guide us on how to make present decisions that will result in better future decisions. And so, for me, although all three are incredibly important, I do you think, as decision makers and leaders, we do need to focus a little bit more and highlight a little bit more about past lessons. I would say my past is very large. I draw on it all the time. Every experience I’ve had, I always feel like I’m drawing on it.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds I would say the present is interesting, and I like being there in the moment, but I’m not consumed by the moment. And the future is very large in that I’m always trying to think about what I’m learning in the moment that is connected to my past that can help predict or shape or solve the problem in the future. I think most people are running on a day-to-day basis, making decisions, taking actions, really informed by the present and its immediate and urgent demands. And I’m no different than most people.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 seconds I think, however, if I take a step back, I would say that probably the greatest influence on my big decisions in life, my career path, my family decisions, my personal life, are actually the future and the hope for a better world, the hope for a more equal and just and dignified life for many. That’s basically why I have chosen the path of social change and philanthropy. And also, the aspiration that we might live in a world where we don’t see the boundaries or the differences between people, but rather the commonalities of what brings us together. And that’s why, ultimately, I married somebody of a different ethnic background, a different faith.

Skip to 3 minutes and 23 seconds No doubt, the past plays into it because there’s a struggle, oftentimes, between the influences of the past and the aspirations of the future. But I think the critical element is really to step back, especially when the present seems to be forcing you to always address the urgent and to take a wider, telescopic view of life and make sure that you have your eye on the future. And think to yourself, if it were only the future determining my decisions, what would I do?

How influential are the past, present and future?

Around the world the past, present and future play different roles in decision making. If we begin to understand how influential each one is in different contexts we will start to see how we ourselves can adapt to new environments. Hear from a series of global leaders as they discuss their ‘circles’. This will provide us with greater clarity on cultural influences.

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This video is from the free online course:

Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership

Common Purpose