Leadership Series, Part 4: The 3 things YOU can do to be a great global leader

Learn how to develop the skills needed, and balance required, become great global leaders

How to develop the skills needed to learn the kind of balance required by multicultural interactions is an important question and can be a complicated one, with few easy answers. Barbara Schaetti, Sheila Ramsey, and Gordon Watanabe are pioneers who have developed a new methodology to deal with exactly such issues, called Personal Leadership.  Schaetti and the identify three mental orientations that characterize extraordinary leaders:  learning, appreciative, and receptive.

leader-icon1Learning leaders maintain a strong sense of curiosity about both themselves and others. They are constantly reflecting on and questioning what is going on both inside and outside themselves, and they look at the experiences they are faced with as opportunities to learn. They are honest with themselves because they know that this allows them to grow.

leader-icon2Appreciative leaders maintain a positive mindset, looking for what is “right” about a situation instead of focusing on what is wrong. They look for — and find — the best in the people, situations, and things that are around them and then leverage those strengths to create greater good. Appreciate leaders are visionary and know how to inspire and encourage others.

leader-icon3Receptive leaders are aware of their participation in a higher order or existence. They have a sense of “presence,” and they are aware not only of their relationships with themselves but also their relationships with the world around them. They have the ability to allow new ideas and actions to emerge through them instead of maintaining constant business and tuning out the world around them through a tunnel-vision type of focus.

Schaetti and the others recommend a three step process individuals can take to help develop these orientations:

1) Recognize “Something’s Up” moments when they occur:  something is wrong, you are feeling emotionally off balance, something in the situation just isn’t right.

2) Cultivate stillness and then invite reflection:  take some time to really think about what’s going on. Go for a walk, sit somewhere peaceful and quiet, practice yoga — whatever helps you really re-center and calm down. When you’re ready, reflect on what happened, taking notes or talking it through with a friend (choose someone who can be trusted to simply listen and not advise) if that is helpful.  Focus on becoming aware of these elements:

  • Judgments you may be making about the situation
  • The emotions you are feeling in the situation
  • The physical sensations you are experiencing in your body
  • The ambiguity in the situation (What do you not know?)
  • Where the situation is out of alignment with your vision of yourself (or the organization) at its highest, best expression

3) Determine the right action:  Decide what needs to be done or said, if anything, and how, when, and with whom it is best to do it.

ID-100259297As you begin to utilize this process, it becomes easier and more natural, and can lead to much greater clarity. Spend some time working out a personal vision for yourself as the global leader you hope to be, and perhaps consider including characteristics of learning, appreciative, or receptive orientations in your description. Then use this vision as a tool to identify elements of a situation or your reaction to a situation that are out of alignment. This simple process can transform your perspective about any situation and quickly and effectively highlight areas where changes need to be made — or help you see when you are already doing all you can.

— by Desiree Beauchamp

(based on Schaetti, B.F., Ramsey, S.J., & Watanabe, G. (2009). From intercultural knowledge to intercultural competence. In M. A. Moodian (Ed.). Contemporary leadership and intercultural competence:  exploring the cross-cultural dynamics within organizations. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.)


To read more of our Leadership Series, check out these articles:

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About The Author

Desiree Beauchamp

Teacher, trainer, coach, consultant. Find out more about me at: About Us