On Leadership: A Global Mind-Set

11.14.13

 

Football is football and talent is talent. But the mindset of your team makes all the difference.

~ Robert Griffin III

Silicon Valley is a mindset, not a location.

~ Reid Hoffman

It’s sort of a mental attitude about critical thinking and curiosity. It’s about mindset of looking at the world in a playful and curious and creative way.

~ Adam Savage

I had the privilege of working as an international area sales manager for Megadyne Medical during my career.  Megadyne is a medical device manufacturer and a leading authority in electrosurgery.  The sales areas I was responsible for were the Americas, Africa, and Middle East.  I enjoyed the opportunity with the Megadyne team and was blessed to meet and build lasting relationships with many people around the world.

While at Megadyne I was fortunate to travel to many countries in my area visiting doctors, business partners, and hospitals.  I was exposed to many different traditions, viewpoints, lifestyles and cultures.  Although I  had lived abroad in South Korea from 1989 to 1991 as a missionary, the experience of visiting these countries and working with the medical community there changed my perspective on the world.  I saw myself differently and realized I had a limited understanding of many aspects of doing business internationally.  I will always be grateful for the experiences gained at Megadyne.

As an executive in this day and age, you will likely be exposed to opportunities of doing business internationally.  You may have suppliers from other countries or you may be fortunate to expand your brand globally to increase profitability.  As you enter this new world I encourage you to learn and apply the principles of a global mind-set.

Gregg M. Warnick, the Director of the Weidman Center for Global Leadership at Brigham Young University, shares the following principles for developing a global mind-set as a leader:

  1. Be self-aware.  Become aware of your own beliefs and values, which may be a hybrid from multiple cultures.
  2. Avoid ethnocentrism.  Recognize that your own set of beliefs, attitudes, and views is one of many and that it is neither superior nor inferior to that of others.  In the workplace, respect equally ideas and practices from other cultures.
  3. Expose yourself to diversity.  Seek friends, colleagues, and opportunities among people from backgrounds different than yours – but make sure you relate to them as individuals, not as representatives of a culture.
  4. Be curious.  Ask the people you lead, work, and serve with about the history and tradition of their cultures.
  5. Make connections.  Find similarities and differences among your culture and those of others, making an effort to weave these diverse strands of knowledge into an integrated view of the world.

Check out the full article where I learned of Mr. Warnick’s principles here.

Begin now to prepare yourself for international business.  With the world getting smaller by day, the likelihood of the need to have a global mind-set is high.

Choose to have a global mind-set.  Choose to be open-minded.  Choose greatness.

~ SLE

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