Developing Leaders for the Global Frontier
Global business today requires leaders to be like explorers, guiding their organizations through unfamiliar and turbulent environments. With markets, suppliers, competitors, technology, and customers around the world constantly shifting, traditional leadership models no longer work. The authors' three-year study across Europe, North America, and Asia indicates that companies seek more global leaders and desire future global leaders of higher caliber and quality.
To achieve these goals, organizations must understand the characteristics of global leaders and what they can do to develop these leaders. The research results reveal that every global leader needs certain core qualities: exhibiting character, or the capacity to build relationships with people from different backgrounds and to act with high ethical standards; embracing duality, or knowing when and whether to act and initiate change, depending on country or region; and demonstrating savvy, or recognizing worldwide market opportunities and understanding firm capabilities. Underlying each of these characteristics must be inquisitiveness -- a sense of adventure and a desire to experience new things.
The authors' research further shows that global leaders are born and then made. Four strategies are particularly effective in developing global leaders: foreign travel, with immersion in the country's way of life; the formation of teams in which individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives work together closely; training that involves classroom and action learning projects; and overseas assignments, which serve to broaden the outlook of future global leaders.