Leadership In A Global World
Leading a team with people living all over the world can be intimidating. There are many things to consider, like time zones, cultural differences, and language barriers. According to a recent study, the number of people in the global workforce will be 3.5 billion by 2030. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Patrick talked about his experience leading teams of people. He said, “As a leader, if you get the people right, everything else is easy.” This means, no matter where your team lives, understanding what motivates people, and how they think, will help you lead them.
Learning how to work cross-culturally and lead a global team is critical to career success.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn. She interviewed Executive Director, Harvard Business School Online & Executive Education, Patrick Mullane.
They shared tips and personal stories about leadership in a global world.
Leadership teaches you about people. Leadership is not just for leaders. People at any level can learn leadership skills. If you want to be a leader in a global world, you need to act like a leader whether you are leading a team or not.
Consider the following:
- Human Behavior – As a leader, the more you can understand human behavior, the easier it will be for you to lead a team. For example, the way people think and behave is very universal. People, no matter what country or culture, want to be appreciated. People want to be seen and heard. When you remember everyone is a person, you can feel more confident when you lead a global team.
- Self-Leadership – A great leader sets an example for their team. Self-leadership means you do your best, even when no one is looking. For example, do you leave work early when your boss is out of town? Do you prepare for a meeting as much as you can? If you want your team to do their best, you must show them what it means.
- Learning – If you are hoping to become a leader, or are already leading a team, seeking new educational opportunities will help you meet new people and expand your connections. For example, during the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Patrick talked about how he met so many interesting people from different cultures when he decided to get his MBA. Not only did he learn through his classes, but also through new connections. Continuing your education will help you become a better leader.
Even if you aren’t in a leadership position, the more leadership skills you can incorporate now, will help you become a global leader in the future.
Tell a story if you want to learn how to approach speaking to your global team. You are more effective as a leader if you incorporate a story when talking to your team. Our brains are wired to want to listen to stories.
Consider the following:
- Open discussion – Stories are a great way to open up a dialogue with your team. This is because, for the most part, people relate to the emotions being evoked in a story. For example, when you start a meeting, you can tell a story about your weekend, maybe you ate at a new restaurant, or you have a funny story about how you forgot your wallet at home and didn’t have a way to pay for your meal. Your story will most likely resonate with others, regardless of their country or culture.
- Keeps people engaged – Stories keep people engaged with what you are trying to say. For example, trying to explain data can be very difficult. Numbers are just numbers. The way to give numbers meaning is to put a face behind them, like a story. When you incorporate a story with your data, your audience will be more engaged with what you are presenting.
- Get an idea across – As a leader, you want to get your ideas and vision across. Using a story can help you accomplish this. For example, one way to help your team understand how their work impacts the company’s goals is to use a story. You can do this by reminding your team where the company is trying to go, and what they will do today to try and get there, just like a story has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is today, the middle is what you will be doing tomorrow, and the end is where you want to be when you’re done doing tomorrow’s tasks.
Stories are universal. Using stories will help you relate to anyone regardless of their country or culture.
3. Soft Skills
During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica asked Patrick what skills global companies wanted to see in their employees. Patrick said soft skills are some of the most important skills people need to focus on to succeed in a global workforce.
Consider the following:
- Communications – Great leaders are excellent communicators. To lead a global team, you must learn how to be an excellent communicator. For example, one way to increase your communications confidence is to take communications courses. Everyone can improve their communications, and education will help you work on areas you need to improve. At Souclast Media, we have many communications courses to help you whether you are just starting your career, or are currently in a C-suite. Communication is critical for career success.
- Leadership – Leadership is a skill you can learn. Employers want to see you capable of thinking beyond yourself and your current role. For example, talk to your superior if you see a gap in your department. Find out if there is a way for you to lead an initiative to close the gap. Being able to do things without being told, and following through will showcase your leadership skills.
- Emotional Intelligence – People with high emotional intelligence can gauge what other people think and feel. They are very good at handling their own emotions and have strong interpersonal skills. EQ is so important; during the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Patrick said if he were deciding between two different candidates for a job, he would always pick the person with a higher EQ, even if their hard skills weren’t as proficient.
Employers are looking for people who have a combination of hard and soft skills. It takes self-reflection to increase your soft skills, but it is critical to career success.
Leadership is all about understanding people. The more you connect with others and learn about them, the better leader you will be.
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