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Global Competencies Apt For Global Work

Greatest global qualifications for global leaders to thrive in diverse trends of globalization

Trends in globalization have a resultant effect on accelerated growth in the number of global organizations that require leaders with global competencies. Moreover, due to the global dynamics of increased immigration, outsourcing, and advances in technology, multinationals are becoming more global and multicultural than ever with a necessity to maintain a competitive advantage in the volatile global economy.

A great example of the power of global competence is the evidence of immigrant entrepreneurs in shaping up America’s startup economy, where they have co-founded billion-dollar startups in the United States.

Infographic: Immigrant Entrepreneurs Shape America's Startup Economy | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Leadership skills vs global competencies

Cumberland et al. (2016) point out that the following have swept the globe with the need for global leadership:

  • Liberalization of trade,
  • Dissolution of borders to countries
  • Technological changes

The global public workforce has not been left out from the adoption of professional expertise that transcends national borders (Mau, 2017). The demand for universal leaders has consequently exceeded the number of qualified individuals.

Organizations now search for models to identify individuals who will be competent global leaders.

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Global marketplace

Employees in the global marketplace vary in culture, political beliefs, and religion.

The resultant effect is the increasingly intercultural workforce (Cumberland et al., 2016). Diverse workplaces bring out positive change for organizations due to increased creativity and innovation.

The adoption of information technology has made it easier for organizations to create these culturally diverse teams in addition to virtual global teams. The global marketplace hence requires global leaders that can manage these diversified workplaces.

Isn’t what fills in the global leadership vacuum?

See related blog post here: Book Review Demystifying HR Concepts For Present-Day Organization Culture – Collaborate, Engage, Retain Gen Y

Global leadership knowledge results from experience. but is developed through training. The essential competencies prerequisite of a worldwide leader to interact and work productively with people from different cultures include various traits, attitudes, skills, and abilities that comprise global managerial expertise.

thextraordinarionly global work photo in 1 global competencies prerequisite to thrive in a global work environment blog post by hazlo emma

As substantiated by Mau (2017), many attempts have been made to build upon the work on leadership competencies. The objective is identifying the knowledge, skills, abilities, and behavior that constitute effective global leadership.

Richie et al. (2017) articulate that the present state of useful global leadership competencies appears to converge towards three overarching categories of skills according to scholars’ conceptualizations. that is

  1. Intrapersonal competencies
  2. Interpersonal competencies
  3. Business acumen competencies

Specific Competencies

Firstly are the intrapersonal competencies

These mirror the internal psychological/emotional sphere of a global leader.

They are also known as self-management competencies. They relate to stress management for a worldwide leader that lives and works in a different environment, and with people who do not share similar customs or viewpoints.

As leaders maintain an emotional equilibrium, they effectively use their social and mental competencies to learn well and develop relationships. The seven skills at these level include:

  • Optimism
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-identity
  • Non-stress tendency
  • Emotional resilience
  • Stress management

Secondly, are interpersonal competencies

These are directed at the management of people and relationships.

Also known as relationship management competencies, they assess the interest and likelihood of a global leader to develop and maintain positive and healthy relations with others who share different perspectives, beliefs, and values, socially and at the works place.

thextraordinarionly train people well and treat people well quote by Richard Branson in 15 global competencies for a global leader blog post by hazlo emma

These six interpersonal competencies include:

  • Interest in relationships
  • Interpersonal engagement
  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Social flexibility
  • Self-management.

Thirdly, are the business acumen competencies

They are inclusive of the cognitive and behavioral abilities related to business and organizational realities. These exhibit the perception and strength of a global leader to learn what they need to know to function in the foreign context.

They five competencies of a leader with high business acumen include

  • Non-judgmentalness
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Flexibility in interest

How to Use These Global Competencies

Identification of these global competencies is effectual not only in the executive personal or professional development coaching but also in the selection and promotion criteria for global responsibilities.

Notwithstanding, programs are provided to develop effective global mindsets whose intercultural competencies are measured against a yardstick (Hassanzadeh et al., 2015).

Also, diversity and cross-cultural courses are designed to increase awareness of these skills. Global leaders, too, analyze themselves for improvement.

thextraordinarionly 6 steps to making use of your skills and competencies while working from home
Follow these 6 steps to make use of your skills and competencies while working from home

Sets of Combinations of the Competencies

Comprehensive leadership training should be fine-tuned and measured to develop competency sets for different global leadership ideal-types (Richie et al., 2017). Global leaders should envision developmental paths that accompany their movements to higher levels of tasks and relationships.

An associated set of competencies can be designed to focus on the complex and subtle interaction of a global leader as their demands require in the worldwide marketplace.

1. A case scenario of a low task with less complex relationships

For example, Richie et al., 2017 states that a global leader in a role that is of low relationship complexity or low task requires interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies like intercultural communication, social flexibility, resilience, and cognitive complexity.

2. For a highly complex task combined with less complex relationships

On the other hand, if the global leader is needed for a task of high complexity while the relationship complexity is low, he should have competencies related to business acumen like responsiveness to change, environmental scanning in addition to intrapersonal domains including resilience and cognitive complexity.

3. Highly complex task combined with very complex relationships

A global leader in a high task complex and high relationship complex must have the full set of the intrapersonal proficiencies like tenacity, thinking agility and courage. The leader also requires the interpersonal prerequisites like sharing leadership and cross-cultural negotiation coupled with business acumen competencies like building partnerships, frame-shifting.

thextraordinarionly Learn other skills Quote by Jack Ma

Further Reading: https://wenmoth.net/2020/10/31/global-competence/


Cumberland, D. M., Herd, A., Alagaraja, M., & Kerrick, S. A. (2016). Assessment and development of global leadership competencies in the workplace: A review of literature. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 18(3), 301-317.

Hassanzadeh, M., Silong, A. D., Asmuni, A., & Wahat, N. W. A. (2015). Global Leadership Competencies. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 5(2), 137.

Mau, T. A. (2017). Leadership competencies for a global public service. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 83(1), 3-22.

Reiche, B. S., Bird, A., Mendenhall, M. E., & Osland, J. S. (2017). Contextualizing leadership: a typology of global leadership roles. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(5), 552-572.

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