Blog from Jim Kuhn, founder of Kuhn Global Talent, LLC, on the values that guide KGT’s relationships and operations –
An interesting thing has happened – our recent conversations seem to show that the symbolism of the lion is more cogent to people in Western rather than Eastern cultures.
Clients and candidates in the US, Latin America and the EU almost immediately associate the lion with COURAGE.
Because about a third of our searches are in China and India, we are aware that the lion symbolizes different traits and values specific to each culture. Lions are often depicted and thought of as GUARDIANS in China. The emblem of India shows four Asiatic lions back to back – symbolizing power, courage, pride, and confidence – mounted on a circular abacus.
Realizing this, we have adapted another logo for exclusive use in China – the KGT crest with a dragon and the Eastern Hemisphere:
Here’s more on lions and courage from a Western cultural perspective:
It seems that courage is multifaceted, yet to varying degrees, courage fuels all of KGT’s associates and our behaviors-
Physical courage. This is the courage most people think of first: the bravery needed to push through physiological challenges. It involves developing physical strength, resiliency, and awareness. This is the courage we feel when we do triathlons, ultra-long bike rides, or climb mountains – but also when we are traveling to or speaking with clients and candidates at all hours day and night.
Social courage. This type of courage is also very familiar to most of us as it involves the risk of social embarrassment or exclusion, unpopularity or rejection. It also involves leadership. Engaging with new clients and calling prospective candidates requires this type of courage and confidence.
Intellectual courage. This speaks to our willingness to engage with diverse and challenging ideas, to question our thinking, and to the risk of making mistakes. It means discerning and telling the truth.
Moral courage. This involves doing the right thing, particularly when risks involve opposition, or the disapproval of others. Here we enter into ethics and integrity, the resolution to match word and action with values and ideals. It is not about who we claim to be to others, but who we reveal ourselves to be through our words and actions.
Emotional courage. This type of courage opens us up to feeling the full spectrum of positive emotions, at the risk of encountering the negative ones. It is strongly correlated with happiness.
Spiritual courage. This fortifies us when we grapple with questions about faith, purpose, and meaning, either in a religious or nonreligious framework.
COURAGE can be considered the foundation for our other values of CARING, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, and HARD WORK. In the next blog, I will discuss these other values.
Wishing you the best, Jim