Building Leadership Talent for Fast-Growth Markets
Many organizations face a similar dilemma: Their prospects for business growth are strongest in locations far from their headquarters, but they do not have sufficient local leadership talent to fully achieve this growth. They must groom people as quickly as possible for leadership roles that previously required twenty years or more of preparation.
On the Job (70%): Multi-dimensional “Stretch”
Bosses/Coaches/Mentors (20%): Champions & Angels
Formal Training Programs (10%): Learning How to Influence
- Learning Influencing Skills: There is much to learn about how to exert influence across boundaries. Research indicates that the techniques most frequently used, such as logical persuasion, are not the ones that are most effective: alliance-building, exchanging, legitimizing, or appealing to values.4 Even perceptions of what is “logical” or “legitimate” vary from one culture to another. Leaders can cultivate such techniques through the use of case studies, simulations, and action learning projects that address real issues for themselves or their companies.
- Organization Development: The ability to influence depends as much on organizational processes and systems as it does on interpersonal skills. For example, leaders of global teams must learn how to position their team for success from the outset by ensuring that:
- The team has strong executive sponsorship;
- There is agreement across functional and regional boundaries regarding the priority and objectives of the team’s efforts;
- Team members have shared goals and an awareness of key stakeholders;
- There are sufficient resources and technology in place for dispersed team members to communicate effectively and build trust over time;
- Metrics for the performance of team members are aligned.
- Horizontal and Vertical Networking: Global leadership development programs offer the chance to build or strengthen ties between current or future leaders and their peers from around the world. Through shared experiences such as visiting a fast-growth market together or carrying out action learning projects, they build mutual understanding, respect, and a network of relationships that last well beyond the program dates. Similarly, programs for future leaders based in emerging market locations can help them to meet and share their ideas and proposals with national, regional, or headquarters executives. The visibility and mutual appreciation that is built through these exchanges are at least as valuable as the ideas themselves.
 Gundling, Ernest, Terry Hogan, and Karen Cvitkovich, What is Global Leadership?: 10 Key Behaviors that Define Great Global Leaders. Boston: Nicholas Brealey, 2011.
 “The Global Leader,” CLC Human Resources, Corporate Executive Board, Executive Briefing, February 2012.
 Bacon, Terry, “Cultural Differences in Influence,” Lore International Institute, 2008.