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Ten Tips on Being an Effective Global Leader

Organizations have gone global but have you? What does it really mean to be a global leader? Executive Coach Sunita Sehmi has ten simple pointers for you to help you succeed wherever you are in the world.

1. Create and Build. Establish opportunities for you to examine working processes with your local team. Honour these commitments and create times for your local team to debate and co-create shared working values.

2. Connect. Initiate bonding and choose to connect with your team. Develop a sincere interest in your team members. This will serve all of you well in the long run as once people feel connected with one another your working relationship is likely to improve.

3. Contribute. Here your involvement is crucial, as it can either enhance or weaken the group’s achievement. Facilitate the discussion by asking appropriate questions and encourage the team to bring their distinct knowledge, experience, or skills to a project. Providing them with a chance to explain things to each other creates a sharing culture and allows you to understand local working practices better. 

4. Care. To care means to feel genuine concern and interest in your team and to ensure you look after and provide for their needs. This is a must for any global leader. So this means that if you are going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.

5. Show Compassion. This simply means a true understanding of suffering of others and a desire to relieve it. We all need to care about our colleagues but we need to start with ourselves, i.e. we have to be compassionate and mindful of our needs and the sorrow of saying goodbye to our old life.

6. Cosmopolitan. Being truly cosmopolitan is being accurately accustomed and at ease in various different countries and diverse cultures. To ensure this step is well-executed, read and study the differences between cultures before and during your assignment. This will enable you to keep an open mind and be equipped for change.

7. Curiosity did not kill the cat. Curiosity (curious," akin to cura "care”) is about learning, exploration and investigation, and there is so much to be gained by being curious in a global setting. Ask questions, discover more, have a thirst for knowledge and your setting. Always ask open ended “How” and “Why”-questions and wait for their answers.

8. Challenge. We all have a need to challenge the rules as a part of our development. Your job is to help your team to strive for success. Challenging individuals is not negative; rather it is your responsibility to present existing challenges as opportunities and to be available for support if needed.

9. Conflict. Better out than in. It’s a fact that disagreements are part of life. How we deal with them is another story, of course. How we communicate, our language proficiency and our culture influence the ways in which we handle conflict. As a global leader you must be aware of these differences and inspire their team members to debate and face disagreements.

10. Cooperation. We are all looking for the achievement and practice of working collectively towards a common goal. By doing the above you will ensure effective teamwork, a healthy debate, deeper inquiry and a common bond.


Sunita is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Consultant. She is of Indian origin and was born in London before moving to Geneva in 1992. Sunita's ambition has always been to help people to do their best and hence led her to create Walk The Talk. In her free time she is a mentor for the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship and a proud member of the School in The Cloud Team.