Published 2nd January 2018

In 2015, I flew to Cambodia for the 10k race at the Angkor Wat Half Marathon, which attracts almost 10,000 runners and is held each December. It was already hot and soupy as the race began at 6 am. I did not know what to expect, but to date, it is still my favourite race that I have run (and no, it was not my fastest).

The mood of the race was unique— no one pushed or elbowed to get ahead. I remember the smiles, the cheering, and the feeling that—in a sea of strangers—I was part of a community. Running can be competitive and lonely, but this wasn’t.  

I smiled at other runners as we passed each other. My running buddy and I ran a few kilometres with a fellow American girl who was living in Phnom Penh and volunteer teaching at a grammar school. I felt content the entire race; I remember thinking I was part of something larger than myself, that I had a sense of purpose.

Back in October, HCLI held a Directors-in-Dialogue session on Creating a Purpose-Driven Organisation. Facilitated by Professor Edward Freeman, insights included shifting focus from profits and shareholders to being driven by purpose and focused on stakeholders. In this sense, stakeholders include shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. If you are thinking how to best balance purpose and profit, I encourage you to read the insights paper.

This month, keep a look out for articles around the theme of persisting in a fractured world. Each year, here at HCLI we look forward to the World Economic Forum for insights, for guidance, and for leadership. This year’s theme—creating a shared future in a fractured world—feels more pertinent than ever. Lastly, we are excited to soon be sharing more about our latest research, Us and Them: Leading in a Season of Populism.

Thank you for reading and we wish you a Happy New Year! As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts, feedback, or about a particular topic you are interested in—please email me at saramoulton@hcli.org.

- Sara

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