I think we all agree that times are changing in the business and financial markets. The fighting across the world has led to higher gas prices in the US. It seems that events of the global economy are having far more impact on our pockets than ever before.
How can we prepare new leaders to compete in the new global economy. I found these suggestions:
The Next Leaders …What the Future Demands – Recently Published by Harvard Business School
Despite the uncertainty, most executives agreed their companies needed new leaders capable of:
■ Fostering growth: “We need growth leaders, and growth leaders who can do it on a global basis – who can deal with the complexity.” Added another: “Right now, we need more entrepreneurs, people who might tend to be more intuitive.” Another leader lamented that only 5 percent of her upcoming talent has revenue-producing skills – “everybody else has an operations focus.”
■ Being global: Said one participant, “You have to have the language skills. You have to understand different cultures. You have to understand how to do business with people in different parts of the world.” Added another: “We have 100,000 employees worldwide, so we have to talk about leadership on a truly global basis. Developing and hiring leaders who are credible globally has got to be core competency.”
■ Thinking like the customer: “The customers in every industry get savvier every day. How do you keep up with them?”
■ Being complete leaders: Leadership today is more than what you know. It requires the ability to adapt and respond to different circumstances and to connect with different kinds of employees, including employees of different ages and different cultural backgrounds. “Leaders (globally) will exist on the basis of their interpersonal relationships, behavior and flexibility, as opposed to what they know… It puts more focus on an individual’s ability to shape things in a way that fits with different scenarios and organizational circumstances.”
■ Working within processes: Said one participant in quoting another executive at her company, “We need leaders who define their value by working in the process, being successful in the process, rather than defining their value by being a hero. [It used to be that] you got promoted because you could make things happen despite all the broken processes. Now a lot of the focus is on what are the processes, on how we, strategically, get focus on those processes and get everyone around a performancebased culture.”
■ Being boundary-less and managing virtually: “We need to get people to think outside the building. And we need people who know how to manage people they can’t see,” noted another participant.