21 January 2022

Global Competencies for leaders a Sure Winner

Over the years I have worked with high performers and high potential leaders to take them to the next levels of their leadership. I however must admit that the COVID 19 epidemic came with so many unexpected dimensions to it and caught several leaders ill prepared. It exacerbated the business terrain that was already fluid, unpredictable, volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous and highlighted the fact that the new times require new skills

If developing and retaining future leaders wasn’t a top agenda item for one’s practise, now it desperately needs to be. It has become such a mission critical responsibility for any CEO that wants his/her practise to remain in the top league. It is therefore surprising when one sees organisations not putting the same effort and resources into their executive and senior leadership development agenda as much as they do annual budgets, procurement, strategic plans etc. 

The “good news” is that the effective leaders do see the value of these new competencies that have been identified through some research work by Accenture Consulting with the Alliance for Strategic Leadership seeking to understand the most important characteristics of the leader of the future. The competencies so identified included Thinking Globally, Appreciating Cultural Diversity, Demonstrating Technological Savvy, Building Partnerships and Sharing Leadership. Question is how does your organisation senior leadership compare against these competencies? 

It is no longer sufficient for instance to have leaders in one’s firm that are narrowly focused on their country or region. A leader needs to understand the legal, political and economic implications of events globally on the business. A blockage on the Suez Canal like the one that occurred in March this year affected about 12% of global trade, around one million barrels of oil and roughly 8% of liquefied natural gas that passed through the canal daily. That could have an impact on any business based even in the remotest part of the world. Unlike in the past today’s leader needs to understand such global events and their impact unlike in the past. Generally, globalization is a trend that is and will have a major impact on the leaders of the future. Furthermore, new technology is also making global thinking a requirement for today and future leaders. Some 18 months ago one could get away with saying they didn’t know how to use a virtual platform and yet today it is a daily tool that leaders use. 

Today a leader who fails to have respect for differences in people can easily cost his/her firm. Appreciating cultural diversity is now one of the most important qualities of a successful global leader and these skills can be developed. Adding a difference in today’s marketplace is having leaders in the organisation who can effectively understand, appreciate and motivate colleagues in multiple cultures. This is vital not only for organisations with global presence but also those that employ people from diverse cultures and /or countries. Teams now consist of so much diversity such that to continue being an effective leader one needs to master the skills of managing such diversity and keeping the teams intact despite the differences. 

Having a leadership team that is “technological savvy” gives the organisation a competitive edge. This is because such leaders have an appreciation of how the intelligent use of new technology can help their organizations. Such leaders can also be role models in leading the use of new technology in their organisation as well as being alert to the opportunities that technology presents to their business. 

A leader of the future also needs to understand that in today’s marketplace any organisation can today be a customer but be a supplier, partner or competitor tomorrow. It therefore requires leaders that are able and alert to opportunities to build positive, long-term, “win-win” relationships with many organizations and be able to identify opportunities that may exist anywhere. For instance, for a bank, a telecoms operator may not be just a player in another sector or potential client at best as previously viewed but can be a source of new partnership that can transform the bank completely. The competency to building partnerships is therefore key as organisations seek to outperform each other

Skills in hiring and retaining key talent are now a valuable commodity for the leader. Leadership is no longer about being at the top of the hierarchy. When managing partners or knowledge workers the ability to engage in a shared leadership approach becomes critical.  

Working with leaders seeking to equip their organisations’ top executives with these new competencies for a new era therefore becomes a source of joy. Their proactiveness is mentally challenging and energising

PROFILE: Brian Maphosa

Any coaching must be transformational to truly serve its purpose. Brian helps leaders handle the global challenges they face in the workplace, decentralize their power by delegating more to their employees, and to have more sophisticated ways of communicating to accommodate the diversity now found in the workplace. Today's employees demand to be treated as thinking partners than before and this demands a different caliber of leadership all contained in Brian's approach to coaching leaders which resonates well with most of his clients

Brian is a seasoned executive and leadership coach, an HR practitioner, consultant and CEO of his own business. He works with other leaders to help them impact their bottom line through leadership related interventions. He has over three decades in dealing with leadership related issues. He has developed leaders globally having been a Faculty member of the Haggai Institute where he trained leaders from the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Prior to his vibrant coaching practice, Brian spent years in the corporate world mostly with bluechip firms on the African continent namely Delta Corporation, Innscor Africa and CABS (part of Old Mutual Group). He held executive leadership positions in HR. He has developed leaders and his experience spans the mining, hospitality, manufacturing, white goods and service industries.

He assumed C-Suite roles at Innscor Africa and at Central Africa Building Society (CABS) where his focus was on leadership issues and involved coaching mid level and senior executives of the businesses. Brian's leadership coaching has been further strengthened in his working with leaders of various organisations in coaching their leaders and teams.

Brian earned an MBA from Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) and currently is a Board Member of Celebration Ministry International and AT Telecoms. As a well-established practitioner he has certifications and accreditations from recognized executive coaching organizations, including:

- Certified Global Leadership Coach

- Certified Global Team Coach

- Certified GLA Coach

- Certified Marshall Goldsmith Executive & Leadership Coach

- Certified Marshall Goldsmith TEAM Coach

- Training Diploma - Institute of People Management

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