What Makes a Successful Global Leader in a Multinational Organization?

Any answer to the question of why do we need global leaders now, at this moment, will remain ambiguous to many unless their concept of global leadership is clear and precisely to the point. If you think that global leadership means successfully managing a business in a multinational environment, you are right, but it is only a part of the complete truth. A global leader has to possess a lot of qualities apart from the managerial skills needed to operate in such an environment. With the advancement of the internet, globalization is on the rise. The digital technology is helping all big national firms to shed off their otherwise domestic skin and go global. But, the internet cannot help you to manage a multicultural environment, can it? Yes, it can teach you how to converse, how to make foreign contacts, but business? Well, that is a different thing altogether.

What makes a successful global leader?

Here comes the big question, what do you mean by a leader or how can you say that a person possesses qualities required for global leadership? The following points will shed some light on this:

– Okay, first of all, the person should be empathetic to multiple cultures. If he/she is conservative and orthodox, chances are, he/she will not make a global leader. Multinational companies aspire to do business globally in different cultural environments and their business leaders should be adept at adapting themselves to their changing environments. That is why the third culture people make successful global leaders as they are not ruled by prejudices which helps them to adapt quite easily. You need to just train them in managerial skills and bingo! You have a potential global leader in your company, fit to run your multinational projects.

– A global leader must have a multilingual background with fluency in at least 3 languages. You may converse with your clients in a common language for example English, but the respect increases if you choose to speak to them in their mother tongue. No doubt they will feel contented when they see you putting that extra effort. Respect earns respect and very soon you will have your potential client or business partner shaking hands with you over the signed contract. Just a simple approach with the help of few weekend classes and you have a billion dollar contract in front of you. Isn’t it amazing? Make sure that your global leader is well versed and educated in at least 3 global languages.

– A successful global leader should be ready to give up his or present domestic environment to merge into completely new surroundings with new people and that too quite enthusiastically. In fact global leadership requires a special skill set that includes managing people from different cultures, societies and countries at large. If you are confined within your own boundaries and is quite content with it, you will not make a good global leader. You have to break free and learn more about people from other parts of the world, their customs, their traditions, thoughts, beliefs and everything that defines them. Most of the multinational organizations employ TCKs to enhance the leadership qualities in them. Generally, they make real good global leaders with the help of effective communication and managerial abilities.

– Continuous learning and self tutoring is yet another must-have quality of a global leader. To be very frank, there is no end to their education. When you are given the responsibility to manage a group of people belonging to different national backgrounds, you cannot help but keep learning about them, how they behave, what they like, what they hate and what are the present socio-cultural, economic and political statuses of their respective countries. In simple words, you need to know everything about them in order to make your business a huge success. You cannot become a good leader unless you have the zest towards learning new things. Watching news of different countries will give you an idea on what is trending and magazines will provide you an in-depth analysis of the social and economic statuses. All in all, a business leader should be a constant enthusiastic leaner to reap maximum benefits and run a successful business.

If you are under the misconception that a gold medal in MBA or any other professional course instill in you all the qualities required for global leadership, then you cannot be more wrong. You have to possess a completely different and broad view of life, with faded cultural boundaries and see the world as an united whole. Otherwise it is almost impossible to run a multinational firm with diverse mentalities from different cultural backgrounds. Tolerance, confidence and patience are the keywords of a global leader. If you have it, you can train yourselves in the managerial skills to improve your chances of becoming a global leader.