There are countless books and literature on effective leadership reflecting theories, values and beliefs about what works best. What are the daily duties of a global leader? We want to become great leaders but where to start? In what ways is global leadership different to standard leadership practices.
Do we immerse ourselves first in the ideas? Brainwash ourselves with as much powerful leadership literature as we can, then magically become the all powerful and effective leader that changes the world?
Or do we step forward and take action?
I think it is both. But in practice, when we “do” the things that look like great leadership then receive the positive, or negative, feedback we fully understand how the principles work. The loop is complete. “I believe” needs to match the “daily duties of a global leader.”
“Just do it!”
When daily behaviours become habits that happen without thinking, then we are likely living comprehensive leadership missions of good practice. Some are no-brainers, such as making decisions and communicating expectations.
But others show how great leaders advocate for the qualities they exemplify:
Global leaders work across diverse cultural groups and they face situations that either bridge or reinforce cultural divide. Global leaders need to be highly aware of the influence of culture on their own thinking as well as others. Leaders need to find ways to find common ground while honouring differences. Effective global leaders learn to overcome geographic, culture and language barriers. In fact they see them as normal and not an obstacle. They create environments that celebrate difference as a key priority. This does not mean food, fashion or even celebrations. It means different strategies of cultural engagement, work practice and behaviour. Do something today that reflects both your understanding and your appreciation of cultural difference.
Make others feel it is safe to speak up
One component of using power effectively is your capacity to create an environment where others feel comfortable to speak up and you are approachable. When there is bad news or someone needs to raise an unpopular opinion they should not fear retribution. There can be significant cultural filters on this.
Be aware of your non-verbals. People will be tuned into your tone and body language. They pay attention to your behaviours more than others. Be present. If you are disconnected, checking your phone or not listening active it will be obvious. Invite people to speak and seek out different opinions in ways that respects their different cultural conventions. If the environment regularly supports this people will feel safe to speak out. Reflect on how frequently staff are openly speaking up. Seek out ways to make this more frequent.
Challenge people to think
You can provoke people to think more deeply and widely by the questions you ask and by keeping matters open. “How can we reach our long term goals?” Are there ways we can do this even better?” “I appreciate your different ways of thinking on this.” If people are only task oriented and reliant on instructions then these are the responses and behaviours they will deliver. Ask some of these questions today.
Be accountable to others
As a leader you need to create an environment of accountability and it is the connections between relationships that are most powerful. Leaders earn a personal reputation for being a trusted, accountable leader. Being relied upon builds strength between team members, especially when you always follow through. Do something today, extra well, that you know people depend on.
Lead by example
There is nothing worse for company morale than leaders who seem to follow a mantra of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Being what you espouse should reflect daily duties of a global leader. The more frequently this happens, the faster staff will lose enthusiasm and goodwill. Double standards demonstrated by yourself or your more senior colleagues feels like a betrayal in the eyes of staff. Review your regular lessons or messages to staff and do these things even better than you normally do.
Provide continuous feedback
According to a study carried out by Forbes, nearly 75% of employees consider feedback important, but less than one third receive it. We tend to assume feedback needs to be formal or at special times. Do it always and often. Make it a regular process and seek out opportunities to communicate back to staff. It shows you notice, that you care and it will reinforce the good things staff do. Being very specific, tell someone what you appreciate about them or something they did well.
Properly allocate and deploy talent
Good leaders know their staff very well and how to utilise their talents. They are very good at utilising the capabilities of their colleagues and when these skills will be most effective. Diversity in your staff profiles makes this even more powerful. It is important to make this one of your daily duties as a global leader. Identify someone whose talents are under utilised and offer them an opportunity.
Ask questions, seek counsel
Some leaders spend so much time answering questions and giving counsel that they do not take the time to reflect and get feedback themselves. Advice from others can be effective because they will see things from a different perspective or they may even have faced similar challenges. If you think you know it all you will be less approachable and in practice less effective. Say “Is there another way I could have done that” to a trusted mentor or colleague.
When we procrastinate, we squander away our time and delay tasks that could have had a positive effective for ourselves and others. We can get caught in an endless loop that also increases stress and work overload during crucial times. Being efficient with time means you will have a higher work output. You can achieve more but also stay relaxed, calm and balanced for longer. Find ways to “hack” the process. Look for shortcuts. Complete something first things today that you meant to do yesterday.
Invest in relationships
Making investments in our personal and work relationships can deliver huge benefits when we most need them. When leaders consider relationships as the daily duties of a global leader and a priority, it can truly make a difference. Giving to others will make them feel better, you feel better, and it ensures you have a strong team of people around you when you need it most. Relationships should never be taken for granted. They are the invaluable glue and support mechanism that helps us advance through life happily and successfully. Spend an extra couple of minutes with someone today.
- Take steps today.
- Make a list.
- Carry it out.
Any and all of the above list can make you a better leader and today can be the very first step.
CEO and Education Expert Greg Parry
Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for edu-cation institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Ministers Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education in 2015 and 2016.
Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals throughout the world in areas such as critical thinking, language development and leadership. His expertise in school start up projects, leadership and curriculum development, has made him a sought after authority in these disciplines.
Check out his recent podcast
Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
Our goal is to meet the highest objectives of every school, teacher, student and parent, with an unwavering dedication to quality education, shared ideals and intercultural perspectives.