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Six Fundamentals Global Leaders Need for Success

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Six Fundamentals Global Leaders Need for Success

PHILADELPHIA – November 13, 2012 – Six competencies have been found to predict successful cross-cultural leadership, according to a global study of nearly 2,000 leaders in 13 countries by Right Management and Tucker International.

Right Management, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup, partnered with Tucker International, a human resources assessment company based in Boulder, CO, to explore the competencies that leaders need in order to operate across cultures, continents and diverse markets.

The study identified six intercultural competencies essential for leading multinational organizations:

  1. Adapting Socially - To socialize comfortably with new people in unfamiliar social situations and to demonstrate genuine interest in other people.  
  2. Demonstrating Creativity - To enjoy new challenges, strive for innovative solutions to social and situational issues and to learn from a variety of sources.
  3. Even Disposition - To remain calm, not being critical of oneself and learn from mistakes.
  4. Respecting Beliefs - Demonstrate respect for the political and spiritual beliefs of people in other cultures
  5. Instilling Trust - To build and maintain trusting relationships.
  6. Navigating Ambiguity - To see through vagueness and uncertainty, not become frustrated, and figure out how things are done in other cultures.

“Global leadership requires operating amid ambiguity and complexity,” said Owen J. Sullivan, Right Management CEO and President of ManpowerGroup Specialty Brands. “We found that global leadership calls for particular behaviors and competencies. Identifying the key competencies that assure successful outcomes and developing those thoroughly allow scarce talent and development dollars to be invested wisely. In this way organizations may get the greatest potential return on their global leaders.”

The six competencies identified in the study focus on skills that have become increasingly more relevant in a global operating environment. “These competencies are incremental to the core skills that every business leader needs, such as business acumen and financial management and agility,” noted Sullivan.

Analysis of the findings indicates that when the six competencies are fully present successful global leaders:

  • Enjoy new challenges, strive for innovative solutions and situational issues and learn from a variety of sources;
  • Build and maintain trusting relationships;
  • Socialize comfortably with new people in unfamiliar social situations and demonstrate genuine interest in other people;
  • See through vagueness and uncertainty, do not become frustrated and figure out how things are done in other cultures;
  • Remain calm, do not become self-critical and learn from mistakes; and
  • Demonstrate respect for the political and spiritual beliefs of people of other cultures.

Sullivan advised that development of leaders is the most strategic initiative companies can invest in to create competitive advantage. “In what we now regard as the Human Age, employers may no longer rely on outdated work models, talent sources, people practices and leadership techniques to achieve success. The key to productivity is building a talent strategy that takes advantage of the best available innovations, information and technology. Top management has to recognize that people have become their most valuable assets and must optimize these assets to deliver results.”

According to Sullivan, the study will help senior management select managers for overseas assignments, build international bench strength, localize country management teams and measure success of development investments.
About the Study

The study was conducted between April 2010 and December 2011. The 1,867 participants were spread among 13 nationalities: Australian, Belgian, Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese, French, German, Indian, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, British and American. Leaders were with organizations ranging from mid-size to Fortune 100 organizations from 134 industries.

This study is unusual because of the following:

  • Profile of Participants - Only global business leaders participated. Other studies of this nature typically have human resource professionals, trainers, employees and others rank what competencies they believe are most important. But this study taps the perspective from individual global leaders directly responsible for business performance and strategy execution across multiple cultures.
  • Validation of the Best Global Leadership Competencies to Develop - The study takes the competencies a step further and predicts success through analysis of performance for when the six competencies are exhibited as strengths, leading to successful outcomes. This knowledge may be leveraged to invest specifically in strategies that grow talent and develop leaders so that multinational organizations can maximize return.
  • Scientific Study – The research is scientific and used validated assessment instruments which provide confidence in the accuracy and relevancy of the results.

About Right Management

Right Management ( is the global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions. As the workforce consulting experts within ManpowerGroup, the firm designs and delivers solutions to align talent strategy with business strategy. Expertise spans Talent Assessment, Leader Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Engagement, and Workforce Transition and Outplacement. With offices in over 50 countries, Right Management partners with companies of all sizes – including more than 80% of the Fortune 500 – to help grow and engage their talent, increase productivity and optimize business performance.

Tucker International

Tucker International ( is a full-service international human resource development company. Tucker conducts global research projects on the measurement and prediction of intercultural adjustment and international job performance. Its validated assessment instruments are used to screen, select and develop international personnel and their families. Tucker provides customized services and products to a select group of global organizations. Tucker enjoys a global reach, delivering services in many countries around the world to help organizations to ensure the success of their global leaders and their expatriate personnel and families. Tucker’s intercultural assessment, training and development programs, supported by its own research efforts, have enjoyed success for over 40 years.

Media contact: Shari Fryer,, 970 846 6607.