"People are the same everywhere," was the conclusion of Marc Ketzel, VP for Human Resources in Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets for Yahoo! and recent guest speaker in my HKUST leadership course. With responsibilities for over 2,500 people across 12 countries, he told us that leading people is more similar than different across countries and cultures such that global leadership is understanding some “universal” truths more than worrying about particular differences. He went on to point out that it was always better to offer people choices and alternatives (especially when working upwards) so that a collaborative solution could be achieved.
Marc indicated that it was important for an organization to define what leadership means. This allows organizations to (1) communicate what great management and leadership looks like when leaders at any level are at their best; (2) set clear expectations on the role of managers and leaders; and (3) use (at every level ) to qualify and select leaders, recognize and reward them, assess and calibrate leadership talent, build/buy training and development programs; and create individual development plans to strengthen leadership capabilities.
He also explained that individual’s also needed to be aware of their personal leadership brand or what they stand for. In his own case, Marc talked about operating at three levels: business strategy, human resource strategy, and the tactical execution of strategy. Key values for him were having a global perspective, emphasizing communications and building and sustaining trust by making sure that there were “no surprises.”
All the best,