For many years, as a global CEO coach, I have used the Global Mindset phrase to indicate an orientation of openness towards other cultures, other people, and another way of doing things. In my most recent book, Global Mindset Coaching, I asked global leaders, “what are the most critical aspects of a Global Mindset?”. Their responses varied, but in short, the consensus was that having a Global Mindset means:
- Having an openness to learning
- Ability to adapt to new cultures
- No one universal way to do things
- Interest and curiosity
- Proactive use of diversity
- Not bound by local customs.
- In my own experience and taking into consideration the results of my research, I have updated my Global Mindset Definition as follows.
“It is the ability to step outside one’s base culture and to understand there is no universally correct way to do things”.
To understand this, I have divided the definition into its two main components.
A) The ability to step outside one’s base culture. This is the willingness of the individual to take risks, exploring learning and adapting
B) There is not a universally correct way to do things.Global Mindset leadership is situational, cultural differences and similarities are neither positive nor negative; “my way is not the only way.”
In dealing with new cultures, there are things that you can see and explore. Language, food, music, the way of dressing, and others. Also, you can also see how people work, attitudes like punctuality, negotiation styles, and how decisions are made.
There are other things you don’t see, but they impact how people work together. Behaviors such as whether individual or group dynamics take precedence in decision-making, whether the culture is hierarchical or egalitarian, and whether relationships must be established before or after entering into a project.
Developing a Global Mindset will allow any leader to take advantage of those differences to manage in a way that is sensitive and effective. They become more effective because of those differences, rather than in spite of them.
I believe that one of the most important characteristics for leaders to cultivate is a Global Mindset. Today one of the biggest challenges of the globalization of business is preparing global leaders that embrace a Global Mindset.
What are your thoughts on this matter? I’ll like to hear from you.