Global leadership is defined as leading people who are based in multiple regions of the world. They need to engage very diverse and distributed groups of stakeholders and colleagues to get things done. Global leaders need to lead people across 5 additional barriers – distance, cultures, time zones, communicating through technology and navigating complex organization structures such as the matrix or network organization.
- They lead people in highly distributed virtual teams.
- The team will have members from a range of different cultures with different expectations and ways of working.
- Global teams operate across time zones and operate mainly through communication technology, which can introduce new challenges with coordination and communication.
- Global teams normally operate within an international organization structure such as a matrix.
Global leaders need to create a good understanding of where it adds value to be global and where it is better to be local. They need the style flexibility to lead people with very different expectations about leadership, but also the resilience and authenticity to stand for something.
Leading globally is a big step up in complexity and people need to develop the mindset and skill set required to succeed in this complex environment.
Explore our interactive graphic of the skills needed to be an effective global leader or see more of our insights.
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