Global leadership is a somewhat intangible concept that people attempt to aim for throughout their careers. Working toward being able to be a global leader isn’t something that you can study in university, rather it is how you embody your experiences and work with them to manage effectively at a high level. So, what is global leadership and what are the ways to become an influential global leaders?
What Is A Global Leader?
A global leader can be an array of things, from a corporate global leader in the business sense, or as a chairman or CEO of a FTSE 500 firm or even as a politician. Global leaders are looked to in times of hardship for answers and provide strong leadership, even when the outlook is positive. To be a global leader requires hard work, dedication as well as other traits that you may not necessarily be aware of!
To gain global leadership skills, you need to understand diversity. Whether your business operates overseas, or you have a diverse workforce, you need to have a good understanding of other cultures and how you can interact with these in respectful way. One of the best ways to embrace diversity is to travel and immerse you in these cultures. Humans learn by being hands on, so there is no better way to learn about other cultures than in the countries that they come from. Learning about other cultures can help you navigate through paths that others may find difficult or don’t want to broach as they were concerned about being insensitive or have lack of understanding about cultures or customs.
Adapting Your Own Behaviours
Part of being a global leader is having a deep understanding about yourself and your own character and being able to adjust this, however the situation dictates. Whether you are dealing with a sensitive topic or introducing your business or idea to new people, you need to be able to adapt your behaviours to match your audiences. If you are unable to adapt your behaviour, you will find that won’t get very far up the career ladder.
Human beings thrive off connection and people are more likely to work with people that they like. If you are striving to be a global leader, you need to network and connect with other people and we don’t just mean on Facebook. You need to make meaningful connections with others and expand your network, not only will this help you be more likely to be considered for future roles, you will have people fighting in your corner.
Sell Your Vision
Whether you are considering entering politics or looking to further your career and forge a career path in leadership, you need to get people on board with this. Sell your vision to them and help them to understand what you could do for them and how if they get behind you it will benefit them. Make sure you stay away from trash talking other people that are going for the same position as you and if you don’t get it, stay gracious in your defeat.
Understand The Importance Of Communication
How you say things is everything, especially when you have people looking to you for leadership. Make sure that everything you say is very clear and cannot be construed in ways that some may find offensive, especially in company wide communications. You may find that you have these amazing ideas and vision for the company or policy, but if you aren’t able to communicate them effectively, you won’t be able to get people on board.
All businesses now operate on a global platform and globalisation isn’t going anywhere soon so you need to be able to work within this sphere. Look to other business leaders in high up positions so you can see how they deal with their operations on a daily basis and see what decisions they make.
The more you can expose yourself to international business leaders, the more you will be able to bring this thinking into your own strategic planning and assessment.
Understanding and Managing External Forces
When you operate globally, you are faced with a lot of internal and external barriers. The key to managing anything well is firstly having a good understanding of exactly what these external forces are. Once you have a good understanding of them, you will be able to manage them accordingly, or find another route if you are unable to manage them.
This one may seem pretty obvious, but you need to care about what it is you are doing and care for the people that are helping you on your journey. If you don’t care about people and the organisation that you are working for, this will not only show in your work but will also show in your attitude and how you conduct yourself. If at any point you feel as though you don’t care anymore, then maybe it is time to move over and let someone else take the reins.
No matter how long you have been working in a role, there is always something new you can learn. Always stay curious and keep asking questions, not only will you expand your knowledge, you may find a knowledge gap that you or your company has which you can then seek to fill.
Global leadership is about embodying a wide range of skills that don’t tend to be taught. One of the best ways you can expand your skill set is by simply engaging with other people from an array of diverse cultures, so you not only learn about their nuances, but you also see how they operate a business at a global level. Continually push for self-development and never stop asking questions and being curious. You will find that if you can adapt your own behaviours, nothing will be able to stop you reaching your goal.