About Gary Ranker

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Gary Ranker has created 5 blog entries.

What is Global Mindset?

I first started to use this phrase in the 1990s to describe myself.  It has become popular in the US and abroad, but what does this mean?  When I talk about having a global mindset, I’m indicating my personal belief that I can get beyond my base culture.  It refers to the cultural perspective that involves awareness of self, knowledge of many cultural values and an understanding of other people’s practices based on these values. In my view, when people make decisions more broadly rather than influenced by a single cultural perspective they are much more capable leaders, they able to deal with cultural diversity and lead global teams more efficiently.

As an American, having a global mindset means getting beyond my base culture and proactively learning about the differences and utilizing those differences to achieve my professional goals and those of my clients.   In my global coaching practice,  I have defined four beliefs that are at the bedrock of my Global Mindset Coaching.

Global Mindset: There is no one universal correct way, but rather leadership is situational.  We need to examine what is most appropriate, look to the individual people, and see the unique characteristics of a particular culture. If our goal is to have the other person agree with us, purchase what we’re selling or be involved in discussion with us, then we should use the most appropriate method to get that agreement. You understand local markets and take advantage of business opportunities

Global Mindset: Cultural differences and similarities aren’t positive or negative.  This is opposite than ethnocentricity, it is the recognition of the multitude of choices about how to interact, and indicates that we make conscious decisions based on that sensitivity and considerations for others.  It recognizes that your culture is not better than any other culture.  You understand the potential regardless of the package in which it comes.

Global Mindset:  Developing An Active Openness to learning  –  Learning about a new culture beyond being tolerant.  Global mindset goes beyond tolerance; it is proactively learning and utilizing the values learned to further personal, and organizational goals.   To put it simply,  imitating a foreigner can be viewed as tolerance and acceptance, knowing what you do and why you do it is having a global mindset.   It is the ability to be effective in interpersonal relations

Global Mindset:  Awareness is a very useful map. This map comes with three different views,  Awareness of self-  This is understanding you at a deep level. The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting life changes that come your way.   Awareness of Social Context -This level of awareness gives you the ability to understand and respond to the needs and wants people.  When you respond to those needs and wants,  you gain their trust.  Awareness of Perceptions –  Do you know what other people really feel about you?  If the people you interact with daily were to be completely honest with you and tell you how they think of you,  would you like what they say?

Many of us know people that seem to be successful working effectively across cultures, we all have that friend that moves from country to country and thriving wherever  he goes.  They seem to be able to address situations with a cultural knowledge and sensitivity without sacrificing their personal values and types.  They are consistent with others’ expectations of the way they will behave. Those leaders have a global mindset.  Do you?




What is Global Mindset?2019-07-09T22:47:55+00:00

Looking at Global Mindset

How do most of us make decisions? By default! We choose brands, styles, food, hobbies, friends, co-workers and careers that feel comfortable and familiar to us. We are often shaped by outside factors that push and pull us in different directions. Some people say it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill. How many of us plug away at the uncomfortable edge of the learning curve for those 10,000 hours just to learn a new skill? Most of us prefer to pull back and enjoy the experience of short-term gratification, albeit at some lower level of expertise, rather than continue pushing through those many unrewarding hours to real mastery. Mastery has become a lost art. Even more difficult is the task of understanding a trade or a skill outside of the context in which we learned the skill. When we are asked to remove ourselves from our common practices and rituals, and shift to a mindset that is conscious of global influences and impressions, most of us may feel some hesitancy and caution.

Consider the basic act of communicating. Let’s assume for a second English is your first language. In the United States, Canada, and many other parts of the world, you would have no problem communicating with a taxi driver, hotel clerk, or restaurant owner. As long as he or she spoke English, you will be fine. But if you found yourself in a foreign country, one whose natives speak little English, the simple task of asking for directions or paying for a bottle of water could be enormously more complicated.

It’s not easy to immerse oneself into an unfamiliar culture for an extended period of time. This is not a common practice and we often feel somewhat shy and not as confident in our abilities. It’s even more difficult to go to a distant land with the goal of establishing or building a successful business in that new culture. If we can’t communicate on a personal level, how can  we do so on a corporate level? Speaking the language is just the first step. Once we can overcome the language barrier, the next step is to study the culture and behavioral norms. There seems to be a never ending learning curve—ranging from local business laws and practices, managing talent, how business decisions are made, how to appeal to the local consumer, to how people think and relate to one another. In the global marketplace talent and consumers come from multiple geographic locations, making the cultural environment so multifaceted it’s hard to imagine anyone responding with finesse to every cultural equation. It takes time, effort, and the willingness to immerse oneself into the nuances and experiences of a whole new world.

Cultures differ as much as creatures in the ocean. There are thousands of regions, cultures, business practices, and socially accepted behaviors. To understand the context of your global scenario is to have a fast track to achieving your overall business goals. Simply because one formula works in one global market doesn’t mean it will work in another.

In the past twenty years, China has rocketed into the spectrum of global importance and business development. Some of the biggest business deals and agreements are occurring in this remarkable part of the world. While the speed in which business is accomplished in China is extraordinary, it comes with an entirely new set of business norms and behavior.

Conditions change rapidly in China, so assumptions and agreements must remain fluid in order to endure. With each change in Chinese management and government, the all-important context changes as well. Relationships must be revisited and adjustments made to fit new political and cultural contexts for every new leader.

Looking at Global Mindset2018-01-26T00:53:44+00:00

Understanding Global Mindset

Gary Ranker defines global mindset as the ability to step outside one’s base culture, and to understand there is no universally correct way to do things. He asks his clients to realize that persons in other parts of the world have different beliefs than they do, and different ways of doing things that work for them. To be effective as a global leader, we need to take this into consideration when we do business with others.

Developing a global mindset means accepting that our values and our ways of doing business don’t have the same meaning, or perhaps even work, for our counterparts in other cultures. To have a global mindset is to get beyond the trap of believing that what has worked for us and our organization in our country, will work to the same degree in another country. It may or may not.

But it won’t work to start with the assumption that we will be successful forcing our ways onto the other culture.

Understanding Global Mindset2018-01-26T00:47:51+00:00

Meet the Coach

Meet the Coach Who Fine – Tunes the Chiefs


It was about nine months into his role as Leighton Holdings chief executive – a job fraught with high drama and controversy – that Hamish Tyrwhitt first met executive coach Gary Ranker.

Tyrwhitt was under enormous pressure as the construction giant faced hefty write-downs on problem projects. He says it was important to have an external adviser not involved in the day-to-day
running of the company to help navigate a volatile world.

“I have a degree in civil engineering, but half the time I need a degree in psychology,” Tyrwhitt says.

“He [Ranker] has brought to me personally the skills to be able to make myself more aware and more equipped to deal with situations; the ability to be resilient in certain areas and to step back and prioritise. “I have moved from being reactive to spending more time in a pro-active space.”

With the average tenure of a chief executive dropping to three or four years, Tyrwhitt says it is important that corporate leaders find a way to survive longer in the job. He has also been open about having a support network of other chief executives to discuss common challenges with.

Nowadays, he has regular Skype conversations and quarterly meetings with Ranker, who is in Sydney this month to see some high-profile clients. New York-based Ranker, who specialises in advising senior executives in demanding cross-border roles, is considered one of the “fathers” of an industry that appeared just 20 years ago.

Ranker entered the profession as an experiment in 1989 when he was hired by General Electric as a consultant to help manage a former US submarine commander who had a senior role in the company’s energy division.

Executive coaching has taken off since then. There are about 1500 coaches in Australia alone, although not many advise at a CEO level. Ranker hopes coaches will become as common in the corporate make-up as hiring an external auditor.

“I can look any CEO in the eye and say ‘You can’t do it alone’,” he says. Ranker’s job is a balancing act of adviser and confidant on all matters from how to communicate with staff, to avoiding social friction, personal development, balancing the demands of constant travel and being sensitive to cultural differences.

Ranker likens the job to engineers improving a wind tunnel. They already have a successful aerodynamic shape, but removing the slightest distortion in an executive’s behaviour can deliver results.

“It is a clear recognition that it is a highly competitive environment where someone else is going to jump higher and run faster next month. You can’t stay the same,” he says. “The CEO has to find ways of becoming more productive and more efficient because the environment expects it. hey can’t work more hours; they are already doing that. They cannot become more diligent. They cannot became smarter.

“What they can do is have an outside person make minor adjustments.” Ranker says the modern-day chief executive is not very different from a professional athlete. “A person at a high  peak performance level such as an Olympic runner has a coach, so why should it be different for a CEO?” Ranker asks.

“As long as you wish to stay in the game in what is a very competitive environment, the coach’s role is integral to your success.” Gary has coached more than 100 executives at General Electric, and his clients include a number of high-profile Australian chiefs. The bulk of his work has traditionally come from the United States and Europe, but Ranker says he now spends about a third of his time working in China, where demand for executive coaching is booming.

Ranker’s advantage is that he has spent time on both sides of the desk, which enables him to build trust. He has held senior executive roles at Hallmark Cards and Textron Inc and worked all over the world.

He says it is sometimes difficult giving advice to people who are used to being told what they want to hear. “These are very successful people and that actually gets in the way. When someone gets to the CEO level almost noone is willing to give them truth, let alone small suggestions on how they can improve,” he says.

“It is an extraordinarily lonely role. Everyone has an agenda and you have to think about what you say all the time. Then there are the people coming to you who mostly have something that they want” Finding a balance between work and life is almost impossible at a senior level, he says. Personal relationships often take a back seat, while even the pressure to look fit and healthy is a challenge in a time-constrained role.

“We expect CEOs to look very fit. Yet that person has even less time to work out in the gym, and has more propensity to have something to drink or avoid exercise,” he says. “I do try and help people have balance, but I do realise if you accept a position as CEO it is impossible to have that work life balance. You have to accept there is a price you are paying.”

Meet the Coach2018-01-26T18:19:19+00:00

Taking Global Executives to Next level

Global Mindset Coaching with CEOs differs greatly from other types of executive coaching.  However, it carries executive coaching’s general goal: helping people be their best selves by improving their behavior.  And, like other coaches, Gary believes that having passion for one’s industry is crucial to success.  For example, Gary has always had a passion to help people from different cultures understand each other, hence his philosophy of global mindset coaching.

Global Mindset Coaching: Gary’s specialized approach:

  • Working with fewer clients, but more in-depth with each client.
  • Working with one company/client for many years to understand their agenda and culture.
  • Working with the CEO and their direct reports to better understand group expectations.
  • Coaching only CEOs or CEOs in training. Coaching CEOs is unique because CEOs:
  1. Have to care about the media.
  2. Have to satisfy the board of directors.
  3. Have to satisfy shareholders. Recently, shareholders have pressured CEOs for more power, in a trend called “shareholder activism.”
  4. Have a high turnover rate; outside factors usually cause CEO replacement every two to three years.

Examples from Gary’s work:

  • Traveling with a coachee CEO to Iraq to build empathy for the challenges the CEO faced doing business in that country
  • Serving as an in-house counselor to many employees at a company after 9/11, thanks to the trust he had built after coaching at the company for many years
  • Helping Japanese and American SONY executives navigate work culture differences to understand that neither culture is superior; there are multiple ways to conduct business.
  • Helping Beijing based CEO use more flexibility when working with two dominating companies in a joint venture.

Global Mindset Coaching Key Takeaways:

  • Understand that there are multiple correct ways to reach the universal goal: profit. Therefore, one should study and consider other cultures’ differing business strategies.
  • Remember that sometimes, especially during international business, things happen that are outside of one’s control.

General Executive Coaching Takeaways:

  • To business executives: Give fewer, clearer messages/objectives. Reinforce the objectives with consistent rewards to promote employee alignment with the objectives.
  • To coaches: remember that criticism is sometimes difficult to hear and accept. Be considerate of your clients while giving them feedback.
Taking Global Executives to Next level2018-01-26T00:53:35+00:00
Go to Top