The Institute of One World Leadership was founded in the country within which it’s inspiration began - Northern Ireland. The founder and executive chairman of the Institute, Noel Ferguson, was born and raised in Belfast. His childhood and formative years were shaped by the ravaging unrest of the Northern Ireland Conflict; the period from 1968 until 1998 when a guerrilla war led to the deaths of 3,500 people. Civil unrest, riots, mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, led to segregation of people and communities.
In his early twenties, Noel embarked on an international management career which exposed him to numerous countries and cultures. During the next two decades, while remembering his childhood in Belfast, of segregation and division; what Noel observed while travelling globally, was the commonality of man, and the realisation that the commonalty of difference makes us all equal.
Noel recognised a need for the world to embrace and encourage the development of Leaders; Leaders with Positive Values, who understood that with One World and One Chance, intercultural and international cooperation is critical for success and survival.
The same understanding needs to be prevalent in business, society and communities. Leaders should lead with a range of Positive Values which encourage, respect, inspire and motivates others. Hence the Institute of One World Leadership was born. The acronym OWLs is derived from the title of the Institute, again to convey the wisdom and learning associated with the bird, which is a serene, wise observer of human society.
Positive Value Leadership
The measure of a One World Leader is determined against the Positive Value Leadership Map. This map defines the key traits and values which make a Positive Leader.
The design of the framework is deliberate and associated with Northern Ireland. The inspiration for the design is the naturally occurring shape in nature which represents solidity, stability, longevity and community. It is based upon the geometry of a hexagonal or 6-sided cell. The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland contains about 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns.
These were formed around 50 to 60 million years ago when lava began to cool, generating cracks at 90° to each other. As cooling continued, these cracks grew larger, forcing the angles to change to 120° – the same angle found in each corner of a hexagon.
As one column began to cool down to ambient temperatures, preserving its hexagonal shape, the same cooling process occurred around it. When one well-developed, symmetrical hexagonal column forms, therefore, many more tend to form around it, producing magnificent collections of columnar basalt like that seen at the Giant’s Causeway.
Similarly, we aspire that One World Leaders should be an example and mould others to adopt the One World leadership ethos.
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