In today's turbulent global business environment, there is no better time than now to put effective global leadership traits into place. What are those traits? Here are my top-ten favorites based on over 15 years of experience in running a global enterprise:
1. Smarts. You don't need Ivy League credentials. Commonsense business judgment and a fair degree of emotional intelligence will help you navigate most situations. And be good at learning: processing lots of information, analyzing data and forever refining your vision is a must when you're in unfamiliar territory.
2. Motivation. You've got to be a self-starter. When you're carving out your own path, you can't expect round-the-clock supervision and guidance. Don't rely on anyone except yourself to get you going -- you must get you going.
3. Initiative. The more ambitious and innovative you are, the greater the need to take an inspired action and make something happen. Pick up the phone, send an e-mail, jump in your car, ask a question, make a contact, make an offer. Put a process in motion and reap the rewards.
4. Endless energy. Run around the block where you live and see how tired you get. When you're a global leader, you'll be hit with the equivalent of that run around the block at least a hundred times day, and you'll have to deal with it, tired or not. And when you do close your eyes to sleep, put that time to work -- ask your creative unconscious what you should do or where you should go next. Endless energy gets you places.
5. Perseverance. Keeping up the struggle when there's no tangible benefit in sight nor any sign of light at the end of the tunnel takes perseverance. Keep at it. Even if you don't like the final result, at least you've produced something -- and you can always take it from there and improve.
6. Imaginative scope. There are idle daydreamers. There are people with delusions of grandeur. And then there are global leaders, who are capable of combining a vision of the seemingly impossible with a plan to make it happen.
7. Positive attitude. Focusing on the good in any situation doesn't mean you're naive. It means you do not want to waste your time on negative thinking. Taking the constructive approach -- seeing what your options and resources are, and making use of them -- will always get you somewhere.
8. Patience. International pursuits take time to develop. Knowing when to remain calm and hang in there will increase your chances for global success.
9. The four C's: Courage. Confidence. Conviction. Communication.
Courage -- You must face painful issues, you must conquer your fears, you must confront adversity head-on in order to grow. Moving forward at any pace when you're dealing with the unknown takes courage. Apply it in everything you do.
Confidence -- Even if you don't know what you're doing, act as if you do, and soon you'll be convinced! Confidence comes from knowing that you are in control of yourself, no matter what happens to you. Conviction -- Stick to what you stand for. Demonstrate a willingness to live by your noblest values regardless of consequences. Don't forget that every day when you wake up, you will have to face yourself and live with your decisions.
Communication -- Know how to talk to anyone, anywhere in the world. Better yet, become an expert at listening. Communication skills and a keen insight into human nature helps you motivate others to join you in getting a job done.
10. Showmanship. If you know you have what it takes to become a global leader, get out there and toot your horn. How else will the world know about you?
Global leadership doesn't happen overnight. It's a slow process that requires thought, discipline and lots of hard work. Start today by putting some of the Ten Traits into action. Maybe you have the potential to become a global leader!