Organizations planning for their future economic health recognize the need to identify and equip their future leaders with a robust toolkit of skills. This toolkit often includes classic leadership skills such as problem solving, analytical skills, team building, etc. However, companies may be slower to identify the importance of global leadership skills, especially if there is a perception that there is no immediate need, such as an imminent overseas posting or a particular international remit. Top skills you need to be a global leader.
So, how do you learn to conduct international business effectively?
You acquire a set of skills that help you work across regional, national and subnational boundaries to propel your business forward. Those skills include the following:
Many global executives understand what doing business in a flat world is like because they’ve lived overseas, sometimes for decades at a time. If you want to become a successful international business leader, transcending your own cultural perspective and learning how business is done in different contexts is essential.
Global Business Leaders ooze a certain presence. They dress for the part but also exert self-confidence, a high energy level, an interest in other people and seem to be comfortable, whatever the latest challenges they are faced with. At the end of the day employees want to follow someone who is charismatic, energetic and positive. It is about more than simply defining the content of the work that needs to be done but rather about making the context more meaningful through inspiration. When people share an inspired vision, they are ready to follow their leaders.
The world is constantly evolving. Without an intense curiosity and a desire to learn, you will be left behind and increasingly unable to converse, much less keep up, with your peers. Staying abreast of new learning opportunities requires a humble awareness that what you know is not enough and that you always have more to learn.
It is always about strategy and about the bigger picture. There is no excuse for not using the best people from around the planet today. A lifetime of networking at all levels of the global boardrooms combined with an ability to see the business puzzle on an international scale allows strategic decisions that set global leaders apart. At the same time, at some point there will be a financial crisis. Global Business Leaders understand that everything moves in cycles and always will do. They are prepared for things not always to go well.
When you travel, read global news and books, or watch international films, tell your friends, families, and co-workers about it. It will get them excited to learn more about the world. People exposed to distant cultures and new ideas tend to appreciate the importance of a global mindset.
Employees look for a leader that knows what they are doing and can get the job done. It’s important that the leader takes the time to learn the business and to know the current mission at hand. Without competence, it’s difficult to display any sort of expertise.
As a global business leader, you must respect the identities and affiliations of others. Some people can do that; many or most cannot. Do you have what it takes to become a global business leader?