Multinational companies investing in leaders for international assignments must recognize the imperative of adequately preparing their managers for the challenges that lie ahead. With expat assignments averaging a cost of $311,000 per year, the stakes are high for both individuals and companies to ensure a successful venture into global markets.
Despite this, a staggering 40% of overseas deployments fail, according to research from the INSEAD business school. The reasons for such failures range from an inability to adapt to new cultures to insufficient organizational support in the host country and personal challenges related to living abroad.
While many organizations offer Cultural Awareness Training, IED believes in going beyond the basics, understanding that the success of leaders in global roles relies on professional knowledge and leadership skills tailored for international effectiveness.
Equipping Leaders: Key Leadership Abilities and Skills
1. Ability to Build Trust in Teams
At the core of international success is the ability to build trust. Leaders must possess communication skills and emotional intelligence to create professional intimacy within diverse teams. This involves connecting, listening, and effectively communicating with individuals from various backgrounds. IED’s programs emphasize the creation of an environment of psychological safety, fostering quick trust-building within global teams.
2. Ability to Take Ownership
Taking ownership is a critical trait for leaders navigating international waters. Leaders need to be fully committed, resilient, and determined to overcome challenges throughout their assignment. IED’s programs instill a sense of responsibility for the process and outcome of their team’s actions. Leaders learn to respond to uncertain circumstances, embracing ownership of mindset, decisions, priorities, and actions.
3. Clear & Transparent Communication Skills
Global leaders operate in environments with diverse language backgrounds. IED recognizes the importance of clear communication, especially in multicultural settings. Leaders are equipped with the skills to communicate transparently, ensuring that messages, both positive and negative, are conveyed with a clear understanding of the “why” behind each communication.
4. Cultural Awareness
Beyond basic cultural training, IED focuses on helping leaders approach their new environment with an open mind. Acknowledging and respecting different values, backgrounds, and experiences is essential. Leaders who embrace diverse ways of working find it easier to connect with people, fostering a smoother transition into their global roles.
5. Building Relationships
Success in international roles hinges on developing and maintaining healthy relationships. IED’s programs emphasize the importance of strong relationships both inside and outside the organization. Leaders are equipped with strategies to influence others and achieve common goals through robust relationship-building practices.
6. Focused Mind
International assignments can be overwhelming, filled with unfamiliar situations and distractions. IED’s programs teach leaders to maintain focus on priorities despite the chaos, ensuring a steady path toward their objectives.
Recognizing the increased volatility of working in unfamiliar environments, IED’s programs instill agility in leaders. Comfort with ambiguity and the ability to navigate language barriers are critical skills for leaders to thrive in their global roles.
8. Influencing Skills
Understanding the impact of their plans and building relationships with stakeholders is crucial for leaders in global settings. IED’s programs empower leaders to provide value, build credibility, and invest in relationships that support their objectives.
In conclusion, IED’s blueprint for international success extends beyond traditional cultural training. By focusing on building specific leadership abilities and skills, IED’s programs empower leaders to not just survive but thrive in the complex and diverse global landscape. The institute’s commitment to excellence ensures that leaders are equipped with the tools necessary to make a significant impact on their international assignments.