Magazine article New Zealand Management

TABLED : Becoming A Global Leader

Magazine article New Zealand Management

TABLED : Becoming A Global Leader

Article excerpt

Byline: Christien Winter

Globalisation means a blossoming of business opportunities. Global trade in goods and services could rise more than threefold to US$27 trillion in 2030, according to the World Bank report, "Global Economic Prospects 2007: Managing the Next Wave of Globalisation".

The report indicates that roughly half of the increase in global trade will come from developing countries -- countries that only two decades ago provided 14 percent of manufactured imports of rich countries, but today provide 40 percent, and by 2030 are likely to provide 65 percent.

New Zealand businesses are increasingly globally connected, through offshore operations, international client bases and distributed business models with operations close to markets.

With the increased access to global sales, capital, goods and services comes a slew of strategic and operational challenges, such as new competitors, exposure to risk, and unfamiliar regulations. Outsmarting competition, protecting assets and contending with regulations is far less of a challenge when you have the right people in place. Senior leaders who can operate globally are the essential piece of a global talent strategy. So how do you identify and develop this new generation of managers?

Leaders versus global leaders

Though trust and respect are universal properties for any leader, a global leader understands -- or can find out -- how the execution of certain universal practices translates from one culture to another. However, leading globally is more than knowing which hand to shake or how to address someone from another culture in a way that conveys respect.

Research conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI) of 22 global organisations led to a list of 10 factors that make up the leadership DNA of a stand-out global leader.

1. Intellectual grunt Thinks conceptually and makes strategic decisions. Is able to deal with both complexity and ambiguity.

2. Contextual chameleon Adaptable and exhibits cultural sensitivity, with the ability to modify behaviour for different situations, localities or audiences.

3. People black belt Brings out the best in people; exhibits authenticity; builds trust; and builds strategic working relationships to engage individuals within various cultures.

4. Global explorer Exhibits learning ability, is a passionate information seeker, and asks a lot of questions to understand foreign concepts or culture. …

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