Are you an extreme sports fanatic? Do you appreciate the risk and intense talent involved in the earth defying feats of these incredible athletes? Global leadership today is not so different. It requires leaders to be like extreme sports team captains – they must guide the organization through unfamiliar and turbulent environments, while maximizing the functional, geographical, and cultural diversity of their teams to create and deploy a winning strategy that will change the game forever. In today’s multicultural, dynamic world, understanding this new breed of extreme global team captain is critical to achieving high performance and sustainable growth in every organization.
Global business is a way of life for most of us – no one can deny that reality. Despite this knowledge, we continue to operate on old paradigms, outdated business models, and disparate policies and procedures. We continue to generate few Extreme Global Leaders – those fearless few who have the courage and commitment to identify and deploy game-changing solutions on a global basis, creating exciting new products and services – as well as memorable client/partner/team/organizational experiences – spanning geographies and cultures.
In most successful global organizations, there are a handful of extraordinary leaders who make all the difference, but there are also 100’s of thousands of ordinary leaders who are more concerned with meeting this years numbers, and getting their bonus than anything else. If we could double that handful of extreme global leaders in organizations, imagine the impact it would have on any business – not to mention partners and customers.
With markets, suppliers, competitors, technology, and customers around the world constantly changing the rules of the game, traditional leadership models no longer work. Companies seek out extreme global leaders and desire leaders of exceptionally high caliber and quality as the only true source of competitive advantage. Research reveals that every global leader needs certain core qualities: character, capacity to build relationships with people from different backgrounds, and morals to act with high ethical standards; the ability to embrace duality, know when and where to act and initiate change; demonstrate savvy, recognizing worldwide market opportunities and understanding capabilities. Underlying each of these characteristics, there must be a sense of adventure and a desire to experience new things. These are minimalistic requirements, in my opinion – much more must be required to attain sustainable excellence and market leadership.
So, what makes this elusive Extreme Leader? I would submit to you that there is a possibility of transformational leadership that incorporates all of the above, but also transcends the accepted leadership characteristics to create a new global leader that is emotionally, politically, and culturally intelligent, but also a global team captain who has the courage to step into his/her impossible future in order to win the great game of business. Extreme Leaders dare to hear and see the call to global leadership and have the strength and persistence to mobilize people to bring about new, innovative solutions to the global marketplace – giving people the power and velocity to achieve remarkable feats.
Will you be the Extreme Global Leader who creates innovative, blue sky strategies to pull your global organization out of the polluted urban air where competition is thick, and into an uncontested atmospere? Are you called to this remarkable future? What will you do about it today?