The article also appeared in the September 2015 edition of Inbusiness Magazine and can be accessed HERE.
Many leaders of organizations with global aspirations have a wealth of global business experience. This experience serves them well in guiding their organization to opportunities and improves their individual performance. But how about translating that experience for the larger organization? How can savvy global leaders multiply their impact beyond themselves?
Below are five actions leaders can take to multiply their global impact immediately.
Develop the global potential of team members. Don’t expect the global abilities of the team to improve by accident or through osmosis. Make development of global potential an active process. There are many high-quality resources for training and development. Resources vary by intensity and cost and can include online training, onsite training and one-on-one coaching. Make some resources available to your team and make global development a part of formal employee development plans. Development might include learning about the specific cultural or business environment of a country or could be more broad-based and geared to cultural awareness.
Incentivize team members for global outcomes. This is where Peter Drucker’s wisdom of “what gets measured, gets managed” comes into play. Make some part of team members’ goals to be expressly global in nature. Examples of goals could be to identify opportunities and resources for global exports or establishing a go-to-market route in a specific region. Documenting the goal and linking to appraisals of performance will focus attention and give solid direction to global efforts.
Show global to be of value in the organization. Look for ways to promote global as something valuable and something on which the team should focus. This can be done by communicating direct linkages of the value of global impact with the organizational mission or by highlighting and praising global efforts and outcomes. Be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to highlight global successes.
Hire for global potential. One of the key drivers of global potential is actual interest and passion for global environments. Some people are very comfortable with their own backyards and this will limit their ability to work at a high level in a global context. Look for people with a global perspective and a passion for the complexities that often come with the global territory. In the interview, look for examples of the ability to think globally and deal with ambiguity.
Mentor high potentials. If you are a leader with deep global experience, then consider taking some of your valuable time and invest it directly as a mentor in one or more of your high-potential team members. The direct assistance, guidance and perspective of someone who has been there and done that can accelerate the development of people by months and even years.