One of the prickliest leadership challenges this year was (and still is) balancing the external norms and beliefs in the broader zeitgeist with the internal cultural values of Uncharted. In conversations this year with other leaders from other organizations, the question came up again and again: how do you hold people accountable to specific outcomes when so many are inclined to claim a special type of victimhood that abdicates all personal responsibility?
How do you be a leader who is conscious of and sensitive to systems of oppression, histories of trauma, and undeniable but invisible power dynamics while also not kowtowing to a culture that escapes accountability through victimhood (a cultural cousin to “cancel culture”)? I don’t know…I really don’t, but it seems that the leadership that is needed in such an age is one of charging teams to co-create cultural norms that fuse inclusion with ownership. Victimization culture externalizes responsibility. Ownership culture internalizes responsibility.