Cross Cultural Expertise is the marketing leadership tool of a future that’s coming for us like a high speed train. While that train may go through tunnels and across challenging terrain with a new administration, technology is shrinking our world and that train is gathering speed. Our workforce, our suppliers, and, above all, our marketing professionals need the skill set of cross-cultural communication, cultural competence, conflict management, and problem solving. They are the fuel to compete in the future and without them, the train may miss its target destination and risk derailment.
Here’s what teenage global leaders-in-training had to say when asked what a young global leader should know. The words of wisdom come from high school and middle school students participating in the American Diversity Report Youth Global Leadership Class. Enjoy their timeless advice and then read what leadership experts said about preparing the upcoming generation of leaders.
The attendees at the International Business Council (IBC) of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce were a diverse mix of nationalities, professions, expats, and industries. The annual meeting of the IBC, the Chamber’s newest council, attracted students, family members, colleagues, and executives. The diverse crowd illustrated the broad participation in Chattanooga’s national and international booming growth. (Photo by Suzanne Ocsai)
Who among us has not been touched by success stories or by stories of daring adventures, altruistic sacrifices, or futuristic inventions? Whether it’s rags-to-riches or rising from the ashes, we’re moved and motivated by stories of overcoming life’s obstacles. How do these stories, often of people and places unknown to us personally, penetrate hearts and minds so deeply? Can we harness their inspirational power and apply it to women with unrealized potential? Chattanooga’s Lean In – Women GroundBreakers tackled the challenge using the Matrix Model Management System.
Chattanooga’s Lean In Chapter began its exploration of global leadership where leadership begins: self-awareness. Why is self-awareness the integral ingredient to real leadership? These Women Groundbreakers answered that question with the energy and passion of people who have “been there – done that.” They shared stories of how you have to know yourself, strengths, weaknesses, values, before you can lead others. Knowing what drives you and feeds your soul gives you the ability to overcome your weaknesses and challenges. Understanding your roots gives awareness to and appreciation of other cultures. Self-awareness begins a process of growth which leads to change which should ultimately extend out to help others.
Doing business today requires a global mindset as we increasingly interact with customers, vendors, employees, and colleagues from many countries and multiple cultures. Key strategies for developing that mindset are shared by colleagues at the Institute for Cross Cultural Management (ICCM) at the Florida Institute of Technology. Curtis Curry shows us how to build cultural competence and Dr. Richard Griffith looks at how you should tweak your Best Practices. Their articles in the American Diversity Report give us how-to advice on how to successfully participate in the global economy.
Tennessee is home to hundreds of international companies worth billions of dollars. Chattanooga, the smallest of Tennessee’s four major cities, is the site of the only Volkswagen plant in the United States. VW is not the only German company in our area, but its arrival a half dozen years ago made cultural competence a high priority. German companies orient their executives to Southern culture, energizing Chattanooga’s globalization and investment in cross-cultural training.
Chattanooga’s Lean In – Women GroundBreakers is a Think Tank of diverse faith, community, youth, and business leaders. The women meet monthly to discuss trends and strategies for making a difference. As part of the international Lean In movement, their Think Tank discussions are published locally and globally. Be inspired by their Words of Wisdom on October’s topic: Global Leadership. First, check out their strategies for building a global mindset.
4 Top Strategies for Building a Global Mindset
1. Be Aware
- Acknowledge your biases.
- Be open to the ideas of others.
- Know yourself and be authentic.
2. Be Educated
- Learn about issues on a global level, not just locally or nationally.
- Know the customs of other countries and religions.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Continue your education. You can’t speak out on something you don’t understand.
- Research how other women developed into global leaders.
3. Communicate across Cultures
- Consolidate your ideas into a format that is easily shared with others.
- Listen and understand life from a person who is not like you.
- Respect the customs of different countries and religions when you speak your mind.
4. Put your Ideas into Action
- Decide how you want to make a difference.
- List and then prioritize the paths you want to take.
- Contact the community leaders working in your areas of interest.
- Pursue your mission and encourage others to pursue their dreams.
Groundbreakers’ Words of Wisdom
Carrie DiMemmo, nonprofit and development professional
“Global leaders did not wake up one day and decide to lead on a global scale. They started doing small things within their local communities and built on that. They may have a global vision, but they always have a local start. You can’t change the world without changing yourself first.”
Tina Player, Event Planner
“We should recognize who we are and the purpose of our existence. Never be classified or placed in a specific box. Create your own box with a unique size, color, and bow. It’s most important to know who you are and WHY!
Denise Reed, Chief Business Connector at The Concierge Office Suites
“Share your life experience and business experience so other can see the opportunities in front of them and make a positive difference.”
Brenda Freeman Short, Lawyer, teacher, and political leader
“Global leadership requires the recognition of all human beings as valuable citizens of this plant, However, caring for others does not necessarily mean acceptance of another’s lifestyle. Leadership can agree to disagree.”
Laura Hessler, Owner of The HR Shop
“Everyone has a story and a part of leadership is understanding the solicitation, verbalization, and promotions of those stories that in turn can inspire others to act.”
Cathryn Cohen, Retired attorney and county library executive director
“Remember that women, whether by birth or by choice, are entitled to everything men have always had.”
Ardena Garth, Attorney and former public defender
“Fear keeps me from getting to know and understand what is going on in the world around me. Caring about others is a start to develop global leaders. Knowledge will help combat that fear.”
Leanne Baron, Consultant
“If we can come together in our local communities and identify the top issues and then make a plan to work together, we can can make a difference which can spread to the national global level. We’ve been good at coming up with ideas, but need to be better at putting those ideas into action and bringing about change.”
ASPIRE & INSPIRE!