This book is a work in progress and will be published later this year.
This is a book is a compilation of chapters authored by global CEOs about recommendations for global leadership in the age of populism.
Foreword by Steve Sargent: My Leadership Coach for Cultivating a Global Mindset
I first met Gary Ranker in 1993, a year after I had joined General Electric in New York City. I had a 22-year career with GE, working in leadership roles in businesses across the U.S., Europe and Asia. My career in GE culminated in serving on the Corporate Executive Committee and as an Officer in the General Electric Company.
In early 2015 I left GE with a personal goal to reduce the air travel and spend more time with my family. I am currently a non-executive di- rector on a few ASX listed company boards in Australia.
At the time I met Gary, he had been working with several senior GE executives who, to use a Jack Welch phrase, had a bit too much edge . They were terrific at driving operational performance and execution, but their people leadership and influencing skills needed improvement. These were often task-oriented operational managers who left you feeling a little bruised after every interaction with them. They were considered to be difficult to work with by their peers and subordinates.
The company valued their strengths and wanted to help these leaders improve into well-rounded leaders who collaborated well in teams and inspired their people. So GE brought in Gary to coach them.
During that time, Gary was coaching a peer of mine a really good guy, incredibly talented, but he was quite difficult to work with. I was one of his stakeholders, so I was having 360-degree conversations with Gary regularly. After three or four conversations with Gary I went to my boss and said, I don t have all the difficult issues these guys have, not that I m aware of anyway, but I really do think I could benefit from working with Gary for a little while to improve my own self-awareness and to be a better leader.
So I started working with Gary. The initial feedback I received was that I was an indefatigable optimist, always upbeat, always moving at a million miles an hour, often moving ahead without the necessary buy-in and support from the rest of the team. People liked the high energy and enthusiasm, but some people thought it was false. When I was presenting deals or presenting business results, my upbeat style was often perceived as over-selling and lacking authenticity . For some folks in our finance teams they simply didn t trust me. Gary made me aware how important it is to understand the way my audience perceives me. The reality is, in every interaction, whether it s a one-on-one interaction, a team meeting, or hundreds of people, people are developing a perception of you. Gary taught me that you might as well ensure that you develop the perception you want them to have and adjust your style accordingly.
I learned that if I was talking to an audience of highly analytical financial analysts, I should change my presentation and delivery to eliminate the adjectives and use more data. I changed my style and approach to ensure I connected and engaged in an authentic and trusted way with the people I was working with.
I vividly recall Gary telling me that I was a bulldozer and that in my desire to get things done quickly I would run over people in the way. He told me how to imagine I was in a sail boat and imagine that all the people I was working with had different objectives, agendas and goals. He told me to imagine these different goals, objectives as gusts of wind and that in my sail boat I would need to work to get their gusts of wind in my sail. In doing this I learned a great phrase to use with peers and team members … how can I help you help me? That ensured we were aligned to a common goal and I was bringing everyone along accordingly.
Through this learning I became much more situationally aware and I learned to flex my style …
Foreword by Marshall Goldsmith
Global Mindset Leadership: Navigating China and US Business Cultures is a book written by three very skilled professionals. It goes deeper than the surface level of cultural differences and talks about historical and generational factors that come into play when working in China. If you come from a Western culture, it will help you understand the Chinese ways of doing business and to see the world from their point of view. It can help you successfully navigate in your journey to build a global enterprise. It can also help you develop transferrable skills that go beyond China and apply to any international assignment.
I invite you to read this book and to apply what you learn. A wise person learns from experience. An even wiser person learns from someone else s experience!
China is becoming increasingly relevant to everyone in the West. It is becoming more relevant every day. Learning how to work across cultures will become one of the most important qualities for the leader of the future.
Gary Ranker Preface: We define global mindset as the willingness and ability to step outside one’s own base culture, and to respectfully understand there is no universally correct way to do things. From that perspective, some interesting observations can be made. Certainly there are great differences between Chinese and U.S. cultures. There are also many similarities. Surprisingly, going beyond surface appearances, we find that some things which seem to make us different, are actually quite similar. And some things which seem similar on the surface may have very different connotations within each culture.
For instance, both cultures have within their traditions the concept of a dragon. To the Westerner, a dragon conjures up images of a fearful creature that needs to be conquered. By contrast, Chinese embrace the dragon as a benevolent creature that symbolizes strength, wisdom, good luck and power.
We invite you, within the pages of this book, to set aside any preconceived notions of either the U.S. or Chinese culture, and learn from our exploration of each other s ways. From the vantage point of the other culture, you may even learn some new things about your own.
The payoff of having a global mindset is greater awareness that will help you navigate more effectively through business interactions and strategies on your way to a successful initiative with the other culture.
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.
Whether you like it or not, corporate politics are a reality that you’ll have to deal with one day. Staying above the fray isn’t possible, so you might as well learn to play the game well. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn to play politics the hard way by losing. Instead, Political Dilemmas at Work shows you how to navigate dangerous waters, defuse ticking time bombs, and make sure politics doesn’t prevent you from taking care of business without losing your integrity!
The workplace is a complex world of competing colleagues and clashing personalities. Political Dilemmas at Work details the many different political crises and office flare-ups we all face from time to time. It profiles the challenges routinely faced by different stakeholders in the typical workplace, and shows you how to manage conflicts between people with competing agendas, values, or motives. Every professional, especially managers and leaders, needs the proper skills and strategies to deal with political situations in constructive, healthy, and assertive ways for themselves and their organizations. As longtime experts in this arena, no one knows better than the authors how the correct handling of these situations can ensure a long and prosperous career.
For any experienced manager, these situations should be instantly recognizable, but the solutions you’ll find here are fresh, powerful, and effective. Based on the authors’ experience coaching managers and leaders of major organizations, the practical tools and real-world tips you’ll find inside will help you turn dilemmas into opportunities for collaboration and professional and organizational growth.
Success requires more than just being good at what you do; it also takes the kind of positive political skills that will make you more influential and help you maintain your integrity at all times. Required reading for ambitious professionals in any industry, this is a practical and effective guide to surviving negative political situations at work with the utmost tact. Read this handy guide and you’ll learn to deal with any situation for your own benefit and everyone else’s.