The Global Leadership Challenge  book cover
3rd Edition

The Global Leadership Challenge

ISBN 9780367376918
Published June 15, 2020 by Routledge
292 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book first examines the phenomenon of global business and then analyzes what is different about global business and, therefore, what is uniquely required to be a successful global leader. It lays out how companies can develop successful global leaders, and what individuals can do to develop themselves into successful global leaders.

Readers will walk away with a clear understanding of how and why globalization of business took place. They will understand what is unique about global leadership compared to domestic leadership. With that insight and through examples, they will come to see what is uniquely required to be a successful global leader. Finally, readers will walk away with clear insights on how they can develop global leaders and what they can do to strengthen their own global leadership capabilities. The book is based on more than 300 interviews with top corporate executives from around the world and across a wide variety of industries, hundreds of surveys, and over 60 years of combined experience.

Top executives will find this book helpful in determining how they can ensure that their firm has the right quality and quantity of global leaders it needs to capture the global growth opportunities before them.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Path to Globalization

Common Globalization Path

Stage 1: Domestic Birth and Focus

Stage 2: Export Focus

Stage 3: International Focus

Stage 4: Localization Focus

Stage 5: Borderless Global Business Focus

It’s A Global World

Chapter 2: It’s a Global World

Pervasiveness of Globalization and Global Focus

The S-Curve; Sales vs. Attention

A Slow Start to Globalization

Post 1970’s Increase in Exports

Post 1990’s Increase in International Sales

Pervasiveness of Globalization Continues

Developing Economies

Pervasiveness and the Leadership Challenge

Drinking from a Firehose

Mary’s Path to Global Leadership

Uncharted Waters

Future Pervasiveness of Globalization

Interconnectedness of Globalization


Chapter 3: Globalization’s Impact

What Has Driven Globalization?

    1. The Liberalization of Trade
    2. Faster and Cheaper Transportation
    3. Booming Global Communications
    4. Broader Capital Markets
    5. Changing Technology
    6. The Long Reach of the Internet

The Indelible March to Globalization

Five Key Implications for Leaders

    1. Be Vigilant: The Competitors are Everywhere
    2. Prepare for More Complexity
    3. Plan to Make Lots of Mistakes
    4. Appreciate that the Basis of Power is Changing
    5. Accept that Yesterday’s Maps Are Out-of-Date

Are You Ready?

Chapter 4: A Framework for Global Leadership

Situation-Specific Dynamics

Industry Effects

Birth Country Effects

Corporate Culture Effects

Global Dynamics

Dispersion Dynamics

Dualism Dynamics

A Model of Global Leadership

Mapping Your Global Leadership Profile

Balance is Critical for Your Success

Global Leadership Profiles

Chapter 5: Global Leaders Are Inquisitive

Inquisitiveness is a Mindset

Global Leaders Know That the Best Answer Is a Question

Global Leaders Understand the Terrain

Global Leaders Accept That They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

Global Leaders Crush Curiosity Killers

It Doesn’t Come Easy for Some

Global Leaders Master the Terrain

Learning through Experiences

Making Sense of the Terrain

Cultural Baggage Destroys Our Capacity to See and Make Sense of New Terrain

Resistance to Learning

Inquisitiveness Drives Every Global Leadership Characteristic

Inquisitiveness and Perspective

Inquisitiveness and Character

Inquisitiveness and Savvy


Chapter 6: Global Leaders have Perspective

Embracing Uncertainty

Uncertainty in Global Business

Overcoming Organizational Barriers

Doing Your Homework

Doing Too Much Homework

Keeping the Balance

Embracing the Challenge

White Water Rafting

Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Balancing Tensions

    1. The Branding Challenge
    2. Getting the Content Right
    3. Getting Manufacturing Right
    4. Managing Duality within the Organization

Getting the Mix Right


Chapter 7: Global Leaders Exhibit Character

Emotional Connections

Our Research on Emotional Connections

Benefits of Emotional Connections

Keys to Developing Emotional Connections

Final Comments on Emotional Connections


Swimming in Gray Water

Internal Relationships

External Relationships

Social and Environmental Responsibilities


Chapter 8: Global Leaders Demonstrate Savvy

Global Business Savvy

Maximizing Value

Taking a Global Perspective

Recognizing Global Opportunities

Critical Knowledge Areas

Global Organizational Savvy

Critical Knowledge Areas

Mastering Global Structures

Raising Your Profile

Linking Business and Organizational Savvy

Building Credibility

Building Competencies

Winnable and Unwinnable Fights


Chapter 9: Global Leaders: Born or Made? Buy or Build?

Born or Made?

Meeting the DNA Challenge

From DNA to Inheritance

The Importance of Drive

Buy or Build?

A Few Final Comments

Chapter 10: Developing Global Leaders

Development Strategy #1: Transfers

The Power of International Transfers

Enhancing the Effectiveness of International Transfers

Development Strategy #2: Training





Development Strategy #3: Teams

Development Strategy #4: Travel



Chapter 11: Intersection Your Career Stage and Leadership Development

Early Career Development

The Excuses for lack of Development

No Excuses

Early Career Transfers

Early Career Training

Early Career Teams

Early Career Travel


Mid-Career Development

Mid-Career Transfers

Mid-Career Training

Mid-Career Teams

Mid-Career Travel


Late-Career Development

Late-Career Transfers

Late-Career Training

Late-Career Teams

Late-Career Travel



Mapping Your Personal Career Frontier

Don’t Wait for Your Company

Know What is Right for You

Global Leadership: A Personal Journey of Discovery

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J. Stewart Black is a Professor of Global Leadership and Strategy at INSEAD. Previously he was a Professor at Dartmouth College and University of Michigan, USA. He has lived and worked in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland. He is the author or the co-author of 20 books.

Allen J. Morrison is a Professor of Global Management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University (ASU), USA. Previously, he served as CEO and Director-General of the school (2015–2018).


"The Global Leadership Challenge is a thorough piece of work that covers a spectrum of approaches for companies to grow business globally while developing their leaders with both global mindset and local effectiveness.  Great depth and breadth."

Yuanqing Yang, Chairman and CEO, Lenovo


"The Global Leadership Challenge is a must-read for today’s leaders.  Given the complexity of technology and accelerating changes in the world, this book arrives at a critical time.  The authors have done a wonderful job charting the path for companies and their leaders as they prepare for the challenges ahead."
Jan Jenisch, CEO, LafargeHolcim

"In The Global Leadership Challenge, Black and Morrison bring decades of perspective and current research to deliver a contemporary and relevant take on why global leaders can and will make a positive impact on business today, helping to elevate the importance of "softer skills" in leadership and ability to make a difference in communities around the globe."

Mark Smucker, CEO and President, The J. M. Smucker Company


"The Global Leadership Challenge is very much needed right now.  Globalization combined with digital developments have greatly impacted companies, governments, and societies. Today’s leaders need to navigate through complexities of these dynamics. This book is a must read for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders around the world."
Dr. Ali Qassim Jawad, Advisor, Diwan of Royal Court and Chairman, Oman Business Forum , Sultanate of Oman