In my previous post I mentioned that when leading dispersed teams it’s all about communication. But there are some other key drivers that are reshaping the leadership landscape. When you are leading global or multicultural teams there are some specific proficiencies and abilities that are mandatory for success.
The Institute for Future has recently published a report about the ten skills for the future of workforce. Not surprisingly, the first of them is sense-making, a skill that help us create unique insights critical to decision making. From my point of view this is the most important ingredient of leadership. Simon Sinek calls this concept "Start with why". He explains that “in business it doesn´t matter what you do, it matters why you do it. If every organization started with WHY decisions would be simpler, loyalties would be greater and trust would be a common currency. If leaders were diligent about starting with WHY, optimism would reign and innovation would thrive”.
Accenture has also developed a vision about this issue. In the report “Global Leadership Teams, the view from the top” they discerned three key attributes that top top leaders must have if they are to manage the complexity and the tensions that face global companies:
Clarity of focus: “A leadership charter and a set of operating principles may never need to be written down if they are unambiguous and easily understood. But they do need to be communicable so that new members and other layers of the organization can quickly assimilate them as a guide to action”
Agility: “The key to that agility is having the right people in the room at the right time.”
A foot in the future: “To be able to change ahead of the curve, to be prepared for the widest range of eventualities, global leadership teams must be confronted by challenging ideas and people”
In summary, “having a clear sense of purpose, the right people in the room and the ability to change ahead of the curve will be the hallmarks of successful truly global leadership teams”.
I assume that all this may seem very easy, but in practice it is really hard to achieve. So the question is: do you have what it takes to lead global teams?