Building Global Leadership Values – Nu Leadership Series

“ Every failure is a blessing in disguise, providing it teaches some needed lesson one could not have learned without it. Most so-called Failures are only temporary defeats.”
Napoleon Hill

Due to the issues associated with globalization, today’s leaders need new competencies in their organizations. What is so unique about a global leader? Heames and Harvey suggest that the question about what makes an effective manager or leader has been an ongoing debate for centuries. Furthermore, Black, Morrison, and Gregersen, authors of Developing Global Executives, declare that globalization challenges provincial leadership theories. Clearly, something must be different about a global leader versus a domestic leader given the pressures of globalization. Let’s analyze closer.

There is something intriguing about global leaders. In fact, Black, Morrison, and Gregersen, argue that every global leader has a set of global characteristics regardless of his or her country or industry. The four key areas include inquisitiveness, perspective, character, and savvy. Business savvy becomes the word of the day because one must be able think globally and adjust activities on the local level as well as satisfying customers at all levels.

Clearly, global leaders must understand multi-culturalism. Rosen, Digh, Singer, and Phillips, authors of Global Literacies, maintain that organizations must understand the multicultural world so that they can cross the invisible borders of national culture. Personal literacy refers to understanding and valuing one’s self. Social literacy denotes engaging and challenging others. Business literacy relates to focusing and mobilizing an organization. Cultural literacy denotes valuing and leveraging cultural differences. Although global leaders share similar characteristics with domestic leaders, there are clear distinctions. Today, globalization and the advancement of technologies provide a new set of problems for global leadership and organizational theorists. Most scholars and practitioners agree that a different leadership approach is needed. Therefore, organizations must carefully develop and stimulate global competencies in their leaders.


Black, J., Morrison, A., & Gregersen, H. (2002). Global Explorers. New York: Routledge.

Heames, Joyce and Michael Harvey. “The evolution of the concept of the ‘executive’ from the 20th century manager to the 21st century global leader,” Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. vol. 13. 4, no.2, (2006): pp. 29-41.

Rosen, R., Digh, P., Singer, M. & Phillips, C. (2000). Global Literacies. New York: Simon & Schuster.

© 2008 by Daryl D. Green