Blogger Monica Hawkins explains exactly what “global leaders” are and how they influence business today and tomorrow.
November 6, 2014
As technology makes the world more connected than ever, there is a significant increase in globalization and multinational corporations. This evolution from local to global has created a dire need for strong “global leaders,” a term that is inundating boardrooms, research articles and business news around the world.
Global leadership is not just about doing business abroad. It encompasses influencing or leading people fromdiverse backgrounds or cultures. One may become a global leader by having clients or working with colleagues in different countries, supervising a multinational staff and/or having foreign based suppliers or vendors. Global leaders have the complex task of accomplishing a common goal in different countries or environments.
Like a growing number of companies, NASDAQ is aware of the value of having effective global leaders. Recently, NASDAQ — which serves six continents and created the world’s first electronic stock market — appointed leaders to strengthen client relationships across the world. Adena Friedman, president of global corporate, information and technology solutions for the NASDAQ OMX Group Inc., stated, “As we gain momentum through our growth and expansion, it is vital that we continue, at pace, to develop our leadership and ensure they are aligned with the growth opportunities ahead.” It is clear global leaders are necessary to ensure the success of international companies.
However, what are often not as lucid are the characteristics that make a successful global leader. There are a number of traits that facilitate any leader’s success, and being a global leader is no different. Here are five of the many characteristics that likely make an effective global leader.
Engaging with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds requires that one is first aware their own culture, values and biases that may affect how they relate to others. Global leaders should not hold the notion that their country, race or any part of their cultural or social identity is superior to that of others. Although it is impossible to know everything about every culture, an effective global leader has a desire to learn about various cultures and exudes a sense of respect and understanding towards them.
As we continue to bridge cultural gaps in business, there is an emerging need for successful global leaders. What is your company doing to identify and develop them? Do not be caught behind the global leadership wave. It is not too late to start.
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 editor@CLOmedia.com.