4 Tips for a Successful Global Leadership Development Program

May 6, 2014

4 tips for global leadership development program

These days even mid-level managers have to have a global mindset and cultural sensitivity. Yet according to research released today at the ASTD 2014 International Conference and Expo, less than half of organizations are attempting to develop a global mindset through leadership training this year. Even among large employers, only 54% are addressing global leadership development in 2014. “Companies not training their employees in global leadership skills risk being at a competitive disadvantage,” says Edward T. Reilly, President & CEO of American Management Association. “Even line managers now have to deal with global partners, teams, and customers. Learning how to collaborate and work with people around the world when they rarely, if ever, meet is critical and requires special skills. Having employees who understand subtle cultural nuances can make the difference in a company’s ability to achieve its global goals and ambitions.”

Organizations need to ratchet up their efforts in developing leaders with global skills and competencies preferably within a distinct global leadership development (GLD) program but at least by including such curriculum within a general leadership development program.

A joint study by AMA and i4cp, suggests 4 key factors to making your global leadership development program work:  

1)    Select candidates based on behavior. When deciding who gets included in leadership development programs choose people who have demonstrated leadership competencies as well as their performance track record.

2)    Keep an eye on the future. Develop the curriculum based on skills and competencies your business will need in the future.

3)    Focus on collaboration and influence. These two skills define the new global leader: These two skills are crucial to leading diverse virtual teams.

4)    Global leaders need to be culturally sensitive to the local market. Make sure whoever creates your program takes the time to learn local customs. Leaders need immersion in the cultures and customs of local markets to understand what motivates them and to determine whether an initiative will succeed.


American Management Association  is a world leader in talent development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—learning through doing—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career. Organizations worldwide, including the majority of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner in professional development and draw upon its experience to enhance skills, abilities and knowledge with noticeable results from day one.

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About The Author

Christina Parisi is Director of Digital Content at the American Management Association. Previously she was an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies.

One Comment »

  1. avatar

    Thanks for explaining some things that can help make a global leadership development program work. You mentioned that you should have a curriculum based on what will be needed in a business in the future. Perhaps it could be good to see what the new trends are so that you can adapt the program to reflect them.

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