Global Mobility: Qualities of a Successful Leader
AESC’s Leaders on Leaders podcast explores top trends impacting global leadership. Karen Greenbaum, AESC President and CEO, speaks with leaders from the world’s top executive search and leadership advisory firms.
In our latest episode, Karen speaks with Stephen Dallamore, Global Chairman of AltoPartners, and discusses leadership mobility and the qualities of a successful leader in new geographies.
Below is a brief excerpt.
KAREN: With AltoPartners' global network, you seem well-positioned to talk about this subject. Let’s focus on leadership mobility, an important issue as we look for talent worldwide. How do you define leadership mobility?
STEPHEN: My definition simply is the ability to move seamlessly between different cultures and communities in different worlds and still be accepted as a leader.
KAREN: While we’re discussing mobility at an interesting time, a time when populism is running high, what impact is this having on global mobility?
STEPHEN: I think long-term, it’s not going to have much impact because I think the great revolutions that are happening, particularly in technology and information, will outpace populism. And we’re already seeing some of that in France with Macron being an accepted leader. But I think we’re still going to go for it. So at worst, companies might put a hold on some of their views on [global mobility] but I don’t think they’ll stop it all together.
KAREN: I know you believe that leadership mobility must be strategically managed. What are some of the factors required to manage mobility well?
STEPHEN: I think it’s having a very clear view of the time that the company is prepared to allow that executive to learn and manage the business. And obviously, I’m anticipating that all candidates who put their hands up for this kind of role have a baseline of competency. In other words, they are Chief Executives already. They understand finance and they understand the business that they’re running. And they’re now going into a new environment and so they’ve got to have the right attitude and skills to deal. They also need to have a clear view on their career progression after this time in this new role so that they don’t feel concerned about what’s next. The individual needs to have a real ability to groom and mentor a successor so that the time, experience and skills that are imparted by this leader are not lost and they’re taken up by someone who can carry on with the good work.