Picture: istock
Picture: istock

As organisations grow and become more global, it is crucial that they develop a particular set of global skills in their local employees so that they can work effectively across cultures. We have identified four competencies that rising talent should master.

• Project credibility: Global leaders must master a pivot to project credibility, demonstrating authority in a form familiar to senior executives in the West (the vertical pivot) while prioritising emotional intelligence with stakeholders in local global markets (the horizontal pivot). Pivoting horizontally means earning the trust and respect of their team, while pivoting vertically means winning the attention and support of senior leaders.

• Be inclusive: Driving value by unleashing ideas, spurring collaboration and solving problems across distance and differences requires shifting management methods from command-and-control to behaving inclusively. The way to do this is by asking questions and listening carefully, giving actionable feedback, facilitating constructive arguments, taking advice and implementing feedback, maintaining regular contact with team members and sharing credit for team success.

• Communicate effectively: Across all markets, leaders need to speak well, deliver a compelling message and command a room. What differs from market to market, though, is how leaders demonstrate those skills. Be sensitive to variations in communication norms in different markets and intentionally adjust your style accordingly.

• Win sponsorship: Emerging leaders need to act as sponsors themselves to support protégés regionally and globally. Seeding high-potential talent, selecting top performers for development and securing a future for them at the company beyond their own borders signals to those at headquarters that you are thinking and acting like a global leader.

(Adapted from The Attributes of an Effective Global Leader, at HBR.org)

Harvard Business Review