Adopting a Global Mindset

Use these six characteristics to develop the right attitude for global success.

December 4, 2014

Monica P. Hawkins

Did you know you are sitting on a gold mine? Maybe not literally, but building on that notion, your mind has a lot of worth, especially when used appropriately for yourself and your business. A global leader’s success starts in his or her mind. Let’s examine some success indicators of a global mindset in a corporate environment.

Attentive: The minds of business executives often race between multiple business issues within a given hour. Although there is a lot demanding a global leader’s mental space, he or she should be attentive to details, while not missing out the big picture. Global leaders should be aware of how decisions (small or big) may affect their company locally and internationally. How attentive are you to the geopolitics in Asia, consumer behaviors in Latin America, supply chain and manufacturing capacity of your organization between India and the United States, or human rights issues effecting talent management in each region of the world? These are but a few areas a global leader might deal with on a daily basis, not to mention the rate of speed in which all of these issues may arise.

Limitless: Thinking small, in most cases, is not the best option. Limited thinking is perhaps one of the most dangerous obstacles to a company’s progression. Global leaders should be limitless in their thinking through innovative solutions, inclusivity and driving productivity. A limitless mind is an asset when one makes an intentional effort to cross multiple borders, to expand a company, diversify their human capital, engage with international stakeholders and create a dynamic strategic plan. Of course, being limitless does not equate to being reckless. Goals should still be attainable and realistic — based on data (big or small) but agile in action.

Open: Mental flexibility is another important trait for global leaders. This is similar to one of the 10 identified principles of the future manager. A global leader should be open-minded and realize that he or she does not have all the answers. They should get feedback from others when necessary. We all have blind spots. Openness to feedback can help prevent some of the damages that our blind spots can do. A global leader should also be open to other cultures, as discussed in the previous blog.

Bold: Years ago, who would have thought that a fast food restaurant would create their own line of coffee? Well, McDonald’s did it. In fact, it recently launched McCafé in Canada despite its challenges in the country. According to Canadians, they are the self-proclaimed leaders in the amount of coffee that they consume. McDonalds decided to take a bold step in being a part of this market. Most Canadians drink coffee at home, so McDonalds opted to sell its McCafé at grocery stores. A global leader should be willing to make bold steps. Think about the time you decided to ask your love interest out on a date or when you went on the scariest roller coaster at a theme park. You took a risk. Something inside of you pushed you to make a bold move. Afterward, you may have felt exhilarated or regretful, but you would have never known the results without taking that first bold step. Similarly, to gain benefits or to know an outcome, a global leader should be bold in approaching business decisions.

Growth: Let’s face it. You are not in business with the aim of losing money. There is a certain level of careful planning that should ensure the financial success of an institution. Think about money through a global lens. Yes, the global leader should take risks and make bold steps, but he or she should also modify their risks when necessary to facilitate financial gain, and view his or her actions based on the framework of a global economic driver of growth.

Generational: It is impossible for a global leader to make an impact for an extended period of time if he or she does not recognize the dynamics in created by the presence multi-generational workforce. A global leader should be cognizant of the diversity in generations of employees, clients/customers and stakeholders. What works for one generation may not work for another. In fact, there is often a stark difference in the value systems of each generation in the United States alone. For example, 26 percent of millennials who completed a survey indicated that employees should only be expected to stay at a job for a year or less before they begin job searching. However, 41 percent of baby boomers believe that employees should stay at a job for at least 5 years before searching for another job. A global leader should be aware of the differences in opinions between generations and work to address them while still ensuring that their company goals are being fulfilled.

Do you have a global mindset? Is your company developing its future leaders to develop a global way of managing and driving business growth? Don’t miss the gold mine of your mind and the mind of the organization. Think, be and understand global.

Monica P. Hawkins is CEO of PPDG and is an adviser to Fortune 1000 C-suite executives across the globe, focusing on alignment of business objectives with talent management systems and learning agendas. She can be reached at


Monica Poulard Hawkins
Founder & CEO I Truth Teller l Thought Leadership l Creator
Monica Poulard Hawkins is Founder, CEO and Connector of Professional Pipeline Development Group (PPDG), a boutique management consulting firm that houses world-class thought leaders, strategists, and business executives in serving its client base of Fortune & Global 1000 Corporations, Heads of State, and Non-Profits. We work to help them reimagine their organizations for the future ad build capacity for impact in new ways.


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