In the article ‘Global Mindset Secrets of Superstar Expats” published by Thunderbird School of Global Management, the authors argue that immersing executives in different cultures does not produce effective global leaders as they often fail to learn how to deal with the complexities of their work environment.
To lead is to be able to influence people who are not thinking and behaving like you. In my experience learning to lead across cultures is a mix of formal leadership development training aligned with corporate values and multiple international assignments in places with very different cultural values and dimensions (http://zestnzen.wordpress.com/tag/cultural-dimensions/ )
I challenge the concept of “‘global mindset” as it is often interpreted as an “ethnocentric” way of doing business aka “western”. You can have all the attributes listed in this article and fail to adapt your leadership style to one specific country. Applying participating leadership and asking employees to take initiatives doesn’t work well in Russia for example, while Americans appreciate leaders who grant autonomy and delegate authority to subordinates.
Successful leaders in developed economies are different from successful leaders in emerging economies.
In a Forbes’ article, How Does Leadership Vary Across the Globe? results of a study show that it is important to adapt leadership style to a specific culture and not try to apply “Americanized” management principles. The skills set and competencies of leaders in different countries vary.
The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Project (GLOBE) is an international group of social scientists and management scholars who study cross-cultural leadership. According to GLOBE researchers, leader effectiveness is contextual, that is, it is embedded in the societal and organizational norms, values, and beliefs of the people being led. In other words, to be seen as effective, the time-tested adage continues to apply: “When in Rome do as the Romans do.”
To gauge leader effectiveness across cultures, GLOBE researchers empirically
established nine cultural dimensions (adapted from work of Hofstede) to capture the similarities
and/or differences in norms, values, beliefs –and practices—among societies. The cultural dimensions can be used in intercultural leadership training.
- How to Develop Cultural Intelligence? Intercultural Dimensions
- Leader Effectiveness and Culture: The GLOBE Study
- Russian Organizational Leadership: Lessons from the Globe Study
- Nine Highlights from the GLOBE Project’s Findings