Summary of What Is Global Leadership?

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What Is Global Leadership? book summary

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Leading the international operations of worldwide firms or heading a globally dispersed team can be a baffling undertaking. Approaches that work in one country or culture may not work in another, and executives often must overcome tremendous gaps between themselves and the foreign staff they manage. To find out how global team leaders succeed, leadership consultants Ernest Gundling, Karen Cvitkovich, and banker Terry Hogan interviewed 70 executives from 26 countries and from more than a dozen industries, including manufacturing, energy, telecommunications and health care. The authors found that these seasoned leaders share 10 distinctive behaviors, which constitute the basis of this global leadership development plan. getAbstract recommends their comprehensive research and training tactics to HR and leadership development specialists, and to executives who manage global teams or international divisions.

About the Authors

Ernest Gundling is the founder and co-president of Aperian Global, a global leadership development firm, where Karen Cvitkovich is managing director. Terry Hogan heads the executive development function at Citi.


Dealing with Different Languages, Cultures, Time Zones and Rules

Corporate global leadership involves handling multiple national boundaries, different cultures, alternative product lines and other managerial challenges. Running a company’s international operations is far more complex and confusing than managing the same firm’s domestic functions.

Consider the example of Dr. Birgit Masjost, who heads technical development at pharmaceutical giant Roche from the firm’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. She is fluent in German, French and English. Her team members are in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and the US. She also works directly with colleagues in China. Masjost’s technical development staffers in Basel are from Italy, France, Germany and the UK. They have diverse professional backgrounds, including pharmacology, chemistry, physiology, biology and marketing. Masjost manages a tossed salad of cultures, nationalities and areas of expertise, and she has to deal with widely varying time zones that impede coordination. Although many team members speak English, communication often breaks down due to linguistic confusion. Each office operates in its own way, which makes...

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