In organizations across the globe, managers at all levels must be trained and ‘groomed’ for future leadership roles. But will a manager in Delhi respond in the same way to the same training as a manager in Beijing – or in California, or Singapore? This research Idea from CCL identifies both the universal sources of leadership learning, found across China, India, Singapore and the US, as well as unique approaches specific to each country – by way of a cross-country comparison of developmental experiences.
Better prepared leaders are the ‘need of the hour’ across the world. But it is extremely challenging to deliver an effective global leadership strategy: one that’s equally effective in one region, as it is in another. In this Idea data from the US is complemented with findings from India, China and Singapore to draw up a cross-country comparison of developmental experiences.
In terms of how leadership development happens, we can first point to the familiar 70-20-10 rule: 70 per cent challenging assignments; 20 per cent developmental relationships; and, 10 per cent coursework and training. This is universal – but the make-up of each changes.
We can also describe the Basic Five sources of learning in organizations – which are again, universal:
As well as these similarities, there are important differences we can note as sources of leadership development in these different countries – which we can call the Plus Twos:
In forming a global leadership strategy then, organizations can look at which on-the-job experiences are the most developmental for individuals in different regions. They can use a ‘mix’ of the Basic Five and the Plus Twos to help develop early and mid-career managers in different parts of the world.
The second step is to pay attention to which leadership lessons are the most important to your organization. This research found the following three to be relevant across all countries:
Becoming self-aware: this often increases when one has an opportunity to confront and reflect on new challenges.
Questions for Reflection:
Grooming Top Leaders: Cultural Perspectives from China, India, Singapore and the United States. Meena Surie Wilson, Ellen Van Velsor, Anand Chandrasekar & Corey Criswell. CCL® White Paper (2011).
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