Leadership in the face of globalization: Part 2
Here comes Globalization to change the world of business forever
In the first part of this series on Leadership in the face of globalization, we looked at the definition of Leadership. Click here for Part 1
What is this Globalization?
Globalization of a company occurs when they begin operating on an international scale, employ international teams or develop international influence. Globalization reflects an orientation that the world is your neighborhood now. The distinctions between national markets are fading rapidly and will soon disappear. This has been caused by three major factors:
- Economic factors have been the major driver for the advent of globalization: companies are finding opportunities to market their products worldwide. The last economic recession saw companies fold and those who survived it are now beginning to find opportunities for growth and stability from places that are beyond their national boundaries. Workers who lost their jobs in the recession are finding new potential for jobs through virtual offices and online businesses.
- Political factors: national governments understand to a greater extent that the most important things are no longer possible to do on your own but require cooperation with other nations. The only way to survive either as an individual, organization or nation is to collaborate and team up with others who share your mission, vision and values. This has lowered barriers of trade and mobility of labor and is making our world a smaller place.
- Technological factors: this has to do with the rapid development of different technologies that has made travelling for instance easier. The sharing and availability of ideas and information, and the ability to collaborate with others from different parts of the world has become as easy as an internet conference call or an SMS text. Hence we can now do business in any part of the world with different people from every part of the world.
The consequence of these changes in the economy, politics and technology is that the work place is now that work teams, customers and stakeholders are made up of people from different parts of the world. This level of cultural diversity, rapid communications and collaboration creates unique challenges in leadership.
Global Leadership is a very different ballgame from any other kind of leadership. A school of thought refer it as Extreme Leadership. “Extreme” because the amount of complexity that global leaders have to deal with is astounding and far beyond what national leaders deal with. According to Adler, Global leaders are not only concerned with addressing their people domestically but also with how to deal with people worldwide.
A global leader faces the challenges of how to communicate, motivate and empower people of various cultures, rather than relying on a particular leadership style or styles that was effective within the leader’s home country. A fundamental distinction between a global leader and the domestic counterpart is that global leaders are more than just multi-domestic. It is the interaction of these various cultures simultaneously that makes the role so complex.
Who is a global leader then?
“Global leaders are individuals who effect significant positive change in organizations by building communities through the development of trust and the arrangement of organizational structures and processes in a context involving multiple stakeholders, multiple sources of external authority, and multiple cultures under conditions of temporal, geographical and cultural complexity” (Osland, et al, in KnowledgeWorkx, 2013).
From this definition alone, you may ask yourself: how is anyone able to deal with all this complexity? Or you may ask: “what are the competencies needed to succeed as a Global Leader?” You ask good questions! We would like to make these the topics of our blogs.
Our members at Strong Advice have worked most of their careers in the Middle East where the nations of the world have come to conduct business. Our lessons learned came from our interaction with the global workforce and international companies in the Arab world. If you are interested in learning our insights about leadership, especially the global leader, we invite you to bookmark this site.
Next article- Effective Time Mastery for Global Leaders: Part 2