Global leadership brings its own challenges and opportunities. The successful global leader needs to be mindful of cultural, geographic and personal considerations
The role of the global leader is demanding but rewarding. The differences in culture and geography can be seen as obstacles but for great leaders it brings great advantages. The successful global leader needs to be mindful of cultural, geographic and personal considerations.
Cultural differences can add additional complexity in communication, but the diversity can also bring a wider perspective on issues and a richness in collaboration. Language differences (even between different English-speaking countries) means extra care is needed to ensure communication is fully understood by all parties. Awareness of local customs, behaviours and norms will help a multi-cultural organization operate harmoniously.
The physical distances and time differences involved in managing global teams means that teamwork and collaboration is either expensive and time-consuming, or must happen virtually. Fortunately there are techniques for managing virtual teams but they have to be learned and refined. It can take longer to operate as a globally effective team, so the leader must set realistic objectives.
Global leadership is intensely rewarding and highly visible, but can be physically and psychologically demanding. Self-awareness and a keen sense of others will help strengthen leadership and avoid stressful conflict. Good leaders have to adapt their personal style to the situation, and particularly so for global leaders. This demanding role will involve long days if multiple time zones are involved, and much time spent travelling. It is important that the leader, the organization and family all understand the boundaries and remain mutually supportive.
Our work with global leaders
The role of the global leader is demanding but rewarding. The differences in culture and geography can be seen as obstacles but for great leaders it brings great advantages. Pure Potential has worked with clients from over 40 different countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Indonesia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Russia, USA, China, South America, South Africa, Australia and Canada. Our own directors are British and Irish nationals.
The following are some of our most recent Global Leadership coaching interventions:
- Uniting a legal team across Europe with six different native languages
- Supporting a global leader responsible for Indian, Chinese, Thai, Singapore and Japanese teams
- Coaching a global team of scientists developing a breakthrough innovation
- Leaders transitioning into new geographies
- Managing stakeholder relationships from a distance