Today, it is not only large corporations that do international business, but small businesses can also attract customers from around the world through ecommerce on the Internet. According to the Robert Bratt blog, global leadership capabilities must be cultivated by every company and organization that does business internationally. Future leaders of the global economy need to learn:
•Global business issues
What Is Business Leadership in the Global Economy?
It is no longer possible for any organization or company to act effectively in isolation. The lines between the public and private sectors are blurring as well as the boundaries of international commerce. Everyone needs to bring together their stakeholders to approach challenges with efficiency, develop strategies and capitalize on opportunities.
Business leaders need to be open-minded, versatile and, if possible, multi-lingual. They need to understand differences, not only in cultures, but also in individuals and through linking them, open the way to find solutions.
Self-knowledge is essential for a global leader. He or she needs to personally develop, so they can create a multi-stakeholder network. In the process, they will transform lives and make the world a better place.
How to Become a Global Leader?
Many leadership scholars consider first-hand experience the best teacher for learning about global leadership. However, others believe that while experience is essential, it is not sufficient to develop a global mind-set. One thing leaders can learn through other means is an accurate appraisal of the patterns and magnitude of international interactions within their own industries. They should take a structured examination of cross-country differences, and the effects they have on commerce. For example, a person from one country need not refashion themselves as a Westerner to succeed in Western multinationals.
What Are Global-Leadership Competencies?
There may be a general list of global-leadership competencies, but these should only be used as a starting point for examining a particular company. Each company will need to customize the competencies and focus them on their particular interactions. Many of these competencies fail because they are developed out of domestic leadership skills and have no application to the international market.
The three main competencies identified are personal. They are self-awareness, inquisitiveness and engagement in personal transformation.
Behavioral skills include networking skills, social skills and general knowledge. Other characteristics that may be required are:
•Social judgment skills
•Acceptance of complexities and contradictions
•Motivation to work in an international environment
Global leaders also need to have international business knowledge of fast versus slow-growth markets and political differences that may include state intervention in their company.
It is recommended by scholars and experts that companies not focus on a single list of global-leadership competencies, but have a set of business leaders that combined have a broad range of qualities. This will bring more value to the leadership of the company than an interchangeable group of people who all have the same skill-set.
One way for an international company to efficiently deal with some of the challenges it faces is to localize their leadership. This means using local talent for management positions and not relying on expatriates. It takes time to understand a global market, and being an international traveler doesn’t produce these benefits.