Walk Out Walk on – Trip to Brazil, Essay Example
My work trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to visit a supplier has given me a new insight into leadership and community approaches. Revisiting the concept of “Walk Out Walk On” and the attitude towards leadership, transforming communities, I listened to the voices of the society in the country communicating inequality. When there is no real leader with a vision, there will be no voluntary followers and the mission cannot be completed. For many people in Brazil, the supplier’s plant was a way of life. It was an essential part of the community; without its existence, many of the workers would have no chance of alternative employment. Employees regarded the plant as their second home; looked after it and were supporting it as one in order to keep it open. They fought together like real warriors when they had difficulties meeting deadlines and celebrated their achievement together.
While urban communities in Brazil are different from traditional ones around the country they still share the traditions of celebration, belonging and sharing experiences. One of the features of the workers’ teams within the Rio de Janeiro plant I visited was that older members of the team were willingly and voluntarily training new members, without any incentives or recognition. They concluded that this was their obligation and responsibility towards the community of workers.
People in Brazil understand that in the 8th largest economy in the world, in a county that is the economic powerhouse of the South American region, there is a need for leadership, showing an example for other countries and fight against social inequality. When 32 percent of people live on less than 2 dollars a day, others make millions. Ferreira de Souza (2012, p. 5) concludes that economic and social inequalities are starting to disappear slowly in the Latin American country. The income growth of the bottom 20 percent of the society was much higher than the top 20 percent’s. The difference in incomes starts to get reduced, however, the situation is far from being even and just. While extreme poverty is declining, thanks to the 3.7 percent GDP increase between 2002 and 2009, there is still a need for collaboration, community programs and education projects. It is important to note that there is a positive relationship between the growth of higher education opportunities and predicted income. Therefore, while educating local people, the government can create more economically active people, entrepreneurs creating jobs, opportunities and a better future.
Meeting the needs of people is only possible when the leader shares their pain and joy, listens to them and understands their needs. Collective working and community projects are designed to serve the role of everyone, and that is why they are suitable for tackling economic inequalities. My meeting with the supplier’s representative revealed that business owners and managers have a great sense of responsibility for their employees. They understand their company’s role within the community and are committed to local projects, developments and initiatives.
The plant I visited worked closely with employees, empowered them to build their knowledge and a team together, determine not only team but community goals as well at the same time. (Bound, 2008) The leaders used an approach that did not limit workers’ creativity, therefore, they could together build better facilities for employees on site. Further, the management participated in local community projects, supported employees in learning and self-development, recognizing the benefits of empowered, committed and motivated workers within the company.
Bound, K. (2008) Brazil – The natural knowledge economy. The Atlas Ideas. Retrieved from http://www.gbcbiotech.com/es/imagenes/genomica-economia/13-Brazil.pdf
Ferreira de Souza, P. (2012) Poverty, inequality and social policies in Brazil, 1995-2009. Working Paper 87. Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) Retrieved from http://www.ipc-undp.org/pub/IPCWorkingPaper87.pdf
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