Developing Global Leaders

This article – a version of which was originally written by a highly experienced marketing professional in the education sector – follows on from our piece last week where we discussed the preparation of tomorrow’s leaders. There is a little cross-over but more so than ever it’s vital that we make clear that the journey to great leadership starts with education and the annual PwC Global CEO survey backs us up.

Amongst many other statistics in the survey (the most comprehensive of it’s type), 75% of CEOs said that ‘a skilled, educated and adaptive workforce should be a priority for business’ and almost half of that number said that they are making changes in the way their leadership pipeline is developed.

We also mentioned in the previous article that tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped not just from an educational standpoint but to tackle today’s diversity and complexity, leaders need to be equipped to overcome potentially thorny societal issues and be able to operate in a world of multiple stakeholders, each of whom hold differing values and opinions. If that wasn’t enough, tomorrow’s leaders require cultural competencies and a global mindset, all set amongst the backdrop of utterly unpredictable geopolitical landscape.

The report made clear that the world’s biggest firms are looking for ‘leaders with the ethical and cultural awareness to thrive in an international marketplace.’


The International Baccalaureate


We touched on the IB in the last article but it’s worth looking at on a more granular level.


There’s no doubt that one of the primary focuses of the IB – founded in Geneva in 1968 – is to develop the next generation of young leaders but they do it with an ‘emphasis on pursuing cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary links, beliefs and traditions and equipping students with a broad appreciation of foreign cultures.’


The most well-known of the IB programmes is the post-16 IBDP, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.


It offers an overarching ideal of how to develop one’s thoughts on an international level and to attain the qualities we’ve already mentioned –


Inquisitive • Knowledgeable • Thoughtful • Communicative • Principled •
Open-Minded • Caring • Risk-Taking • Balanced • Reflective


These qualities are common amongst global leaders but interestingly there is also a focus in personal development through CAS – creativity, action and service. This aspect of the IBDP looks at the development of young people who are intellectually, creatively and physically balanced and understand how the world works and crucially, how they can affect it.


International Education = Global Leaders

Is an international education imperative for the future generation of global leaders? No. Does it help? Undoubtedly yes.


One of the most important elements of taking this educational pathway is the development of key skills that are needed in today’s global marketplace and around 70% of university admissions officers cite the IB as the qualification most likely to develop intercultural activity in students.


Ultimately, it’s about the broadening of one’s horizons, to accept that we live in a pluralist society where we accept more than one viewpoint and that globalisation is no longer an abstract concept. These are the skills that leaders have and these are the skills that the world’s biggest and most progressive businesses are looking for.


For more information on how to be a great leader, please contact us today.

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