Are you ready to go global?

Here's how it might happen: You receive an e-mail from a contact in Germany asking to buy 20,000 of your widgets. Good grief! Now what? You're not set up to handle online transactions--you just finished your website!

It's worth your while to do some soul-searching ahead of time and decide whether you have what it takes to go global, or are willing to cultivate the qualities you'll need to succeed. You're already a successful executive or you wouldn't be reading this article. But going global requires a special way of understanding the world and operating in it, which I like to call global intelligence.

The following personality traits are the fundamentals in securing a high global business IQ. If you see yourself in these descriptions, then you are well on your way to going global.

1. Be Comfortable with Change and Respond at Lightning Speed

Ask yourself this: can you embrace uncertainty and rise to the occasion? The world is shifting fast, and "speed rules," as a recent Fast Company article proclaims. Change is commonplace. You must be able to address any new inquiry and shift your company's resources (namely, you!) to accommodate it.

Peter Drucker, one of the best management minds of our time, declares, "One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it.” And as you create worldwide online connections, the need to be comfortable with change will become more acute.

2. Develop an All-Encompassing Perspective

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Laurel Delaney ( is the founder of and the creator of "Borderbuster," an e-newsletter, and The Global Small Business Blog. She can be reached at