Do you have global aspirations?
To lead globally, you need to have an open mindset and be an active listener, you need to be sensitive to other cultures, you have to have a decent amount of common sense, a healthy dose of empathy and a good old sense of humour.
Having localised leaders helps to bring customers, market needs and the understanding of the country’s own people into the company, but a company needs a leader (or leadership team) who provides a clear purpose, vision, values and direction from a global perspective.
Great global leaders recruit the right cultural and businesses fit in all locations; then they allow trusted teams to put their regional spin on things. Companies employ intelligent and capable adults, yet it’s not unusual for them to be handed down policy 'from head office' which has little resonance in their location yet they feel unable to challenge it.
Look towards a more nurturing, collaborative and trusted work environment where your people's talents and expertise are truly valued and respected. Encourage your people to embrace changes and also take initiatives on their own, but offer them support in the implementation.
Ensuring you have world-beating operational excellence requires decisive leadership, for example; equally, pushing for long-term visions needs constant and unwavering determination to be able to stand up against critics and the short-term pressures. Plus, the ever-important driver of innovation needs to be at the top of your mind because global creativity is spurred on by connections between people from all markets.
As consumers and markets are literally emerging before our eyes, 21st century leaders will need to make sure they have a good understanding of their needs and their cultures.
Global leaders must know how to compete in this environment and how to hire the best talent to help take them forward. I’d love to hear some other suggestions for cracking the conundrum of great global leadership, so let’s get the conversation started.