Develop Global Leadership


Taking on an international assignment is to sign yourself up for a global leadership program, an agenda at times easily got lost in translation the moment you land into a new country. So thought of the day, do you concur with a recent observation by GE's CEO?


The Jack Welch of the future cannot be like me. I've spent my entire career in the United States. The next head of GE will be somebody who has spent time in Bombay, in Hong Kong, in Buenos Aires.


An executive cannot develop a global perspective on business or become comfortable with foreign cultures by staying at head- quarters or taking short business trips abroad. Such intangibles come instead as a result of having spent more than one sustained period working abroad. Getting to know the local is one aspect, getting to live the way they live and gain the kind of perspective that determines their way of living, their aspirations for the future is key. 


In my years of living abroad as an expat, I used to spend my weekends at the local markets, workshops, meet-ups and some random cultural and artisitc activities that came into my sight. These experiences allowed me to dive deeper into the surface of an expat life, throw me out of the comfort zone of being a guest to being a friend, redirect conversations to what works and does not work according to their own view rather than my outsider's view. There were many controversial truths that challenged my long-standing understanding and seemed to be not helpful at that time. Looking back, I can't help smiling at how essential and practical those diffcicult moments were to help build my world view today. 


As leaders in business, you are standing in front of a lot of people who look at you as role model. I tend to think it is a priviledge to be a leader in the world today as the scope of your influence is not limited within your seeable area. It can extend and multiply, and it can only become that when you also have a global mindset for who is it that you stand for, what is it that you bring, and how is it that you will lead and live. 


Date: 14 Aug 2014
Author: Tien Luong

Once a creative advertising copywriter and winning writer of a public contest on the Youth Newspaper, now an aspirational blogger on various topics with a deep passion for life and human potentials. 

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