March 2012 | Nano Tools | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Mario Moussa, President, Moussa Consulting, and co-author (with G. Richard Shell) of The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas (Portfolio/Penguin, 2007).
Enhance your effectiveness in working across global borders.
As companies extend their global reach, managers must stretch their abilities to communicate and collaborate across borders. Both the stakes and the failure rate are high: research shows that over 40 percent of executives who were previously successful in their home countries have trouble adapting in unfamiliar cultural settings. The basic difficulty lies in a lack of mental agility. Those who succeed are open to learning new ways of communicating, navigating social encounters, and building relationships.
Applying his research on communication in complex social settings, Dr. Moussa has created a process for developing a “global mindset.” The process starts with a fundamental question: “What kind of border is most important in my situation?” A common mistake is to assume that cultural borders matter most. But often it is other “borders” that present tougher challenges — conflicting corporate agendas, divergent functional backgrounds, clashing psychological styles, and other differences lurk beneath situations at work. For example, conflicts between an American CFO and her Chinese marketing colleague might have less to do with their cultural backgrounds than with their misaligned functional orientations. By enhancing your awareness of different borders and taking active steps to cross them, you will become a more effective leader.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools Academic Director, Professor Adam Grant.
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