What It Takes to be a Global Leader

by | Sep 13, 2012 | Articles | 0 comments


In order to survive the global economy, organizations will need to become faster, more flexible and adaptable.  This requires a different kind of leader.  In a constantly changing world, it is important to develop global leaders.

The more companies pursue global strategies, the more global leaders they need.  How the company develops global leaders is very important for the company’s success because a big percentage of their education take place on the job.  Learning how to be a global leader takes place through work experience, through interpersonal relationships with bosses, peers, subordinates and professional contacts.  An education from an international school with exchange programs and different teaching languages may help.  By having a “global experience”, global leaders will be able to read their market right.

Global leadership embraces the complexity of a large organization and its role in the world, driven by principles.  Global leaders are very important for companies because when a company enters a new market, the leader has to be keen to know what employees in the new country are needed to be able to compete in this market.

Global leaders are a unique breed with identifiable characteristics.  They have a curiosity about the world and interest in people, which will inspire visionary initiatives and organizations that span national boundaries.  The following are characteristics that can make a global leader:

  • A global leader is one who exhibits personal effectiveness, he is highly self-aware.  He knows,   understands and accepts his own strengths and areas of challenge.
  • Global leaders manage change effectively.  This includes understanding the different business environments, managing and communicating cross cultural politics and being able to influence across cultures, as well as being effective at solving the problems that come up with rapid change.
  • Global leaders need to understand and continually invest in new technology so that it continues on the leading edge.
  • Global leaders build influence.  This requires significant interpersonal and communication skills combined with organizational savvy.
  • In a global economy, creating effective partnerships is the way to go.  Global leaders need to have the skills to build complex networks of relationships that create “win/win” business strategies.

Global leaders should be “global entrepreneurs” who are driven to create new solutions and seize opportunities.  They also should be “global citizens” inspired to contribute to the communities they touch.

Global leaders are not just born, they can be made.  They become who they are by cultivating particular ways of looking at the world, ways of thinking about problems and opportunities and acting with integrity in pursuit of solutions.