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How to develop your international leadership

How to develop your international leadership?

Leadership is an essential component of your ability to lead your teams and partners in the direction you want.

This skill is crucial for any leader, but it is even more so in the case of international business. Indeed, not only the international leader must manage multicultural teams, but he must also acquire online management methods for his delocalized teams.

However, taken by his business challenges, the international leader is often ill-prepared for intercultural leadership. When he realizes that his teams are not as committed as him, it is sometimes too late…

What to do ? How to be an inspiring leader internationally?

Here are the 5 mistakes not to make and the 5 rules to follow to succeed.

The 5 mistakes not to make
Mistake #1: Believing that you are already doing the maximum

You are certainly a good manager and a good leader in France or in the countries with which you are familiar. Over the years, you have gained the experience necessary to “lead the teams”.

But directing your development towards a new country is like going to a new planet. Believing that you will just have to do as you did before is the most common mistake. Thinking that reading a few books on cross-culturalism will be enough is also a mistake. The reality is that being an inspiring leader internationally requires a complete investment of your person.

Mistake #2: Thinking that leadership boils down to universal principles

You’ve attended leadership seminars or trainings, and now you think it’s all based on a few universal principles. It’s wrong. The universality of leadership does not reduce the importance of the variations introduced by the modes of communication and by the values ​​specific to each culture. To become an inspiring leader in another country, you will have to break out of your habits of thought and acquire the ability to step back from your mental patterns.

Mistake n°3: Believing that leadership, we either have it or we don’t have it…

You think inspirational leadership is not within your reach, for example, because you see yourself as an introvert or a cerebral. You are not looking to develop your leadership because you have the belief that this talent “we have it or we do not have it”. It’s wrong ! Certainly, there are people who have an initial ease. But all the leaders have worked on improving their leadership. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi were not born leaders. They have become!

Mistake n°4: Believing that you will be able to understand the specificities of foreign leadership on your own

You think adapting to Brazil will be as easy as adapting to Spain where you vacationed as a child. You think that by reading a few books and immersing yourself in the local culture you will quickly understand the specifics of leadership. It’s wrong ! International leadership cannot be satisfied with superficial cross-cultural knowledge. This type of leadership is based on an understanding of the deep springs of the culture of the host country.

Mistake #5: Thinking leadership coaching is useless

As leadership may seem innate to some people, and in particular to you, you do not think it necessary to seek support. You think your natural ease will be sufficient. In that case, prepare to feed yourself for 10 years of mistakes and failures, before becoming an inspiring leader. To go faster, you will have to be accompanied by French people who have accumulated the interculturality necessary to give you the keys to leadership abroad.

How to empower yourself to succeed
Rule n°1: Define a strategy and an action plan to increase your international leadership

You must consider the development of your international leadership as a challenge in its own right. To do this, you must take the time to build a strategy and then an action plan. Thus, you will have a roadmap, with milestones, allowing you to measure the path taken towards your goal. You will be able to congratulate yourself on each of your progress, and keep your determination to continue your improvement process.

Rule n°2: Multiply the angles of view on the issue of leadership in the target country

In the target country, you will certainly find books on communication, negotiation and intercultural business. However, you will gain a lot by supplementing this reading with discussions with foreign leaders who have been established in the country for several years. Their experience will make you discover what is beyond the books, through concrete cases of their experience as leaders.

Rule n°3: Ask for frequent feedback on your mode of communication and your behavior in the foreign country

No book, no training, or sharing with another leader can replace feedback from your teams and partners. This is why you will need to be proactive in getting genuine feedback and suggestions for improvement on your behavior and communication. Your challenge: to create enough trust for your employees to open up to you and agree to give you really constructive feedback!

Rule n°4: Learn about universal psychometric profiles and intercultural models

To save time on your learning, it will be in your interest to approach the models of intercultural management theorized in particular by G. Hofstede, F. Trompenaars, E. Meyer and E. Hall. At the same time, you will accelerate your skills development by learning about the psychometric profiles used in international companies, such as DISC, MBTI, etc.

Rule n°5: Be accompanied by an International Executive Coach

To greatly increase your international leadership, you will also have to work on the brakes that are your convictions, your habits and your reflex patterns. For this, support from an International Executive Coach will be very beneficial to you. Such a coach will allow you to free yourself from your own limitations and truly open your field of consciousness to multicultural leadership.

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