Leadership Development in a Global Environment

Abstract

Leadership development is essential in the current helping business leaders more knowledgeable on the dynamics that shape global business practices in this millennium. The world business environment is becoming more and more multicultural and the western style of doing business is slowly becoming replaced by other leadership styles that are more participatory. This requires business leaders to have the necessary skills and personalities that can help them to navigate the challenges that arise out of their participation in global business affairs. Business leaders must introduce strategies within their organizations which can guide employees to become knowledgeable in global business standards. Business leaders must also develop networks with their peers in other parts of the world to be updated on what is going on elsewhere.

Introduction

Leadership development is one of the key areas that dominate business globally and which needs critical observation on how it is carried out. The global business environment has become more linked and dynamic and this requires business leaders and entrepreneurs to be adept at identifying areas where they may want to steer their organizations for greater prosperity. It has become necessary therefore, for business leaders to have those skills and personalities that can make them easily distinguishable in whichever global setting or industry they choose to be active in.

A leader who aspires to have influenced both within and outside his organization must have the necessary track record and personality that inspires those who work under him to be confident in his leadership. The leader must identify the key aspects that define the industry in which he works and ways through which he can align his skills and outlook to be in line with the dynamics of that particular industry. A key factor to consider is how the policies the leader introduces to his company will make it competitive and contribute to that firm’s outcome. The corporate culture that exists within the company itself and the ability of the manager to influence those who work under him to share in his vision has a large contribution to the direction the company takes. The leader must understand the needs of his company and relate them to the needs of his staff and iron out any problems that may have a negative impact on how work is performed.

A leader must, therefore, have unique attributes that make him stand out in his chosen field and who is able to gather different teams within his organization to perform to their strengths in order to boost the organization’s productivity and performance. Business leaders who manage companies with employees of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural origins must be aware of these traits by their employees so as to identify the best means through which they can engage with them.

The business leaders must cultivate transnational and cross-cultural traits that can make them relate with staff and clients within different geographical and cultural locations easily. The leader must introduce a cross-cultural culture within the operations of his organization to ensure that the best aspects of management practices from across the globe are included in the company’s overall business strategy.

There should be an emphasis placed on having a competent staff that is able to adapt to dynamic work cultures and practices and thus help the organization to achieve a positive image within the different environments in which it operates. Medium level managers who are in charge of various departments must have the ability to carry out workplace practices that are consistent with global values and standards.

Such managers should be prepared for challenges and opportunities that arise out of their company’s participation in global business affairs and they should know how to effectively address these challenges. There should be the identification of individuals within the organization who exhibit the necessary traits that can make them be suitable in a global leadership role. Business leaders must be aware of the factors that are crucial for success within specific locations they operate and the market forces that have a big impact within such environments. This will help business leaders to be ready for any challenges and opportunities their enterprises can come across by becoming part of the global business community.

This study aims to highlight the leadership skills that are necessary for business leaders who need to be globally competent for them to effectively steer their organizations in the right direction. This study will focus on the emerging global business trends which business leaders need to be aware of. These have become more stringent and require a leader with an open mindset who can easily embrace change. These principles can guide the business leader to become more proactive in nurturing the personality traits that can make him have cross-cultural appeal necessary for him to succeed on the global stage.

Literature Review

The authors highlight the need for business leaders that have ambitions to be recognized globally to embrace diverse cultures and new ways of doing things in order for their ambitions to come true. The authors argue that such a leader must be ready to be a highly professional individual with the necessary track record of fulfilling their organizations’ business profile through practicing solid business models. Calgiuri and Tarique (2009) further argue that such a leader must have the competence that defies geographical, cultural, religious and racial boundaries for them to be in a position to be able to offer a positive direction for his enterprise (p. 337). A leader who is well-grounded in cross-cultural leadership principles is well placed to offer a competitive strategy within his enterprise that is critical in pushing the agenda of his firm ahead.

The global business situation at the moment requires managers to be open to learning from their surrounding environment through close relationships with people who the manager is in close contact with. This makes the leader be able to acquire skills that can have positive outcomes within the enterprise because the leader can translate the cultural needs of the environment within which he works to suit the direction he wants his company to take. The business leader can improve on his skills of being attentive, retaining what he learns and later reproducing this for the benefit of his organization (Calgiuri & Tarique, 2009, p. 338).

The business leader must allow his staff to be more vocal in putting forward their ideas that are likely to be beneficial in how the company operates both in the long term and in the short term. The business leader must participate in the affairs that his staff engages in to be able to learn how a section of employees from a particular cultural group behave in specific situations. Business leaders must, therefore, be more open socially to their employees and clients for them to acquire the necessary set of skills to develop their global leadership awareness.

The authors emphasize the need for business leaders to be open to the global expansion of their company as a way in which the enterprise can work to its strengths and achieve a positive direction. The leader must have the ability to oversee staff from different cultural and racial backgrounds to acquire the necessary skills that can make him direct the organization positively. Multilingual skills are vital to help the leader overcome the hiccups that can come into his way as a result of working beyond the traditional, geographical and cultural borders (Cohen, 2010, p. 5).

The global trends pertaining to business leaders are shifting which continues to place a high premium on leaders who are able to embrace different management concepts easily without being hindered by their backgrounds. The liberalization that is being witnessed in various crucial sectors across the world today requires a new breed of leaders who can be able to provide effective and creative approaches that can help their enterprises to make headway into new frontiers (Cohen, 2010, p. 6).

Technological advances have managed to make the world more interlinked than ever before. As such, business leaders are more empowered to take advantage of the technological advances that are being witnessed today to form relationships with other leaders in other parts of the world. This can be vital to the business leader to share and acquire business ideas and approaches that are transformational. The global business environment is increasingly becoming more integrated than ever before with more companies seeking to take advantage of the low labor and operational costs in emerging markets (Cohen, 2010, p. 7).

Political and regional integration has meant that many countries are forming business partnerships and business leaders must prepare their firms to take advantage of this. A business leader needs to have the necessary eye for talent and to exercise effective management principles which can help his firm to exploit vast opportunities that are yet to be unlocked. A business leader must strive to work to the strengths of his talent pool to cultivate the necessary skills in his workforce that can help the firm achieve prosperity. The business leader must be able to make his workforce share in the vision of the firm is breaking new barriers which can help it to realize exceptional performance (Cohen, 2010, p. 8).

The authors take note of the changes that are currently being experienced in how organizations are run as a direct consequence of the increase in globalization. Organizations are compelled to take note of the diverse cultural approaches from other countries that can have a positive effect on how their companies operate. This is because the modern business environment has very many challenges that impinge on the way business firms operate and thus require business leaders to be adept at handling these challenges (Robinson & Harvey, 2008, pp. 3-4). Business leaders should develop effective policies within their organizations that can be easily followed by their workers to enhance a positive corporate culture which motivates the staff to share in the vision of the organization collectively.

The collective motivation of staff is essential in making the business leader to tap into the cultural diversity of the employees for them to deliver on the expectations set for the company at the beginning (Robinson & Harvey, 2008, p. 4). The authors have stressed that business leaders need to assess the environment in which they work to ensure that they create processes within their organizations which can make it easy for their employees to adapt to various changes that are likely to occur within the organization. A set of values should be developed within the organization that reinforces the ideals of diverse working relationships taking into account the unique set of talents each worker brings to the company. An effective management style can help the manager to get the best out of his employees and improve on the status of his enterprise. This will help all employees within the enterprise to work towards actualizing the vision of their organization.

The author brings to light the various approaches that UPS undertook to come up with good strategies to enhance global leadership traits and planning within its staff. The company focused on coming up with training sessions for a select team of staff who would be able to think strategically to take note of the increasing global participation the company was engaged in (Schwartz, 2011, p. 13). This called for the company to recruit workers of a younger generation who were capable of learning global business standards that could help the company to become more noticeable in all the countries in the world that it operates in. Therefore, these employees were made to become more effective in their assigned roles and they had to become more proactive in advancing the values of the logistics enterprise across the world (Schwartz, 2011, p. 13).

The company used an effective means through which to carry out change by training competent individuals who would be able to translate what they learned into the company’s business strategy. The firm was able to focus on ideas that were necessary for the training and evaluated each individual’s capability to take in these ideas and the influence this would have on its operations. The training focused on making targeted individuals utilize approaches that could help the company achieve long term positive growth from its operations across the world (Schwartz, 2011, pp. 14-15).

The author highlights the quest by many multinational corporations to have within their workforce; staff that can take on the challenges of becoming global leaders. With that in mind, the enterprises are waking up to the need for their corporations to have leadership development strategies that can take into account key aspects of the global business environment. The multinational companies, therefore, have realized the importance of nurturing business leaders who can be conversant with multicultural requirements of the employees and the best ways through which the company’s agenda can be pushed forward (Sulieman, 2005, p. 12). The global leadership teams that are chosen must be able to understand the cultural influences that dominate the particular markets where they work to be able to get an understanding of how to create a positive atmosphere for the company.

In the current set up, the author notes that corporations must identify an individual’s skills together with other influences shown by the person’s background and evaluate the suitability of that individual in dealing with the task at hand. These factors prove to be necessary when determining the kind of location and environment the targeted business leader can be able to display his skills and competencies. This is necessary because the chosen leader will be able to work within an environment where he is conversant with the cultural attitudes that are dominant which will be vital in helping the leader to form the necessary relationships (Sulieman, 2005, pp. 14-17).

Methodology

The methodology used for this study was mainly based on gathering information from published scholarly sources in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles. These articles were able to provide the bulk of the information gathered for this study and they discussed at length the best ways through which business leaders and their enterprises can take note of the changes in the global business environment today.

These articles reinforced the notion that by becoming more competent in global business matters, business leaders are in a position to achieve positive results for their enterprises. Information from these sources together with personal observations influenced the arguments put forward in this research paper regarding the subject. This mainly focused on the need for business managers to acquire more skills in global business affairs. Each article was evaluated for the literature it contains that revealed more information regarding the research question. Each article focused on a unique angle regarding the research topic giving multi-dimensional approaches in discussing the topic under research.

Recommendations

The following should be taken into account by business leaders for them and their enterprises to take advantage of the limitless opportunities that can be realized by being active in global business affairs:

Business leaders must embrace multicultural ideals which will be necessary for helping them to fit in any environment they may find themselves in.

Business leaders must be open-minded and friendly to their staff and other people that they come into contact with. These close relationships help the manager to learn the different backgrounds of the people he works with and their individual capabilities.

Business leaders must have multilingual skills, which are an asset in helping the leader to fit in any global environment that he may have to work in. It is essential for business managers to have the linguistic skills that will help them to communicate with people of diverse backgrounds easily.

Business leaders should develop systems within their organizations that can recognize talented employees who can, later on, be groomed to take up leadership roles. Training of these individuals should be done to make them capable of handling tasks in a multicultural environment.

Business leaders must utilize the technological advances being witnessed in the world today to be updated on the global changes that are taking place in different parts of the world. Web-based communication tools can help business leaders to build and sustain relationships with other leaders in other parts of the globe.

Business leaders must carry out internal research in their organizations and come up with proactive strategies that can help their staff to be more aware of the global needs and standards that relate to the industry in which they work. This would be essential in making the enterprise-ready for global participation.

Conclusion

The 21st century has witnessed the growth of many economies worldwide and as such, business leaders need to be aware of the ways in which they can take advantage of the opportunities that exist. This requires business leaders to be ready to work in diverse employees within their organizations and be ready to be open to them in the way they communicate. Close participation with employees in a new location will be essential for the manager to learn the cultural attitudes that exist within that location which will guide the business manager in formulating effective policies within the organization. Business leaders must show a leading role within their organizations which can help their subordinates to follow their lead and embrace the ideals of global awareness. This will help the business enterprise to make headway into new frontiers.

References

Caligiuri, P., & Tarique, I. (2009). Predicting effectiveness in global leadership activities. Journal of World Business, 44, 336-346.

Cohen, S. L. (2010). Effective global leadership requires a global mindset. Industrial and Commercial Training, 42(1), 3-10.

Robinson, D., & Harvey, M. (2008). Global leadership in a culturally diverse world. Management Decision, 46(3-4), 466-480.

Schwartz, A. (2011). Leadership development in a global environment: Lessons learned from one of the world’s largest employers. Industrial and Commercial Training, 43(1), 13-16.

Sulieman, B. (2005). The global leadership marathon. Employment Relations Today (Wiley), 32 (3), 11-17.