Finding the right personality for effective global leadership!


Today more and more companies are learning that not only do their employees need the proper skills to succeed in their job, they need the right personality to fit-in and succeed in their company’s culture.  How do you deal with this issue however when your company’s reach is global and expands across many different cultures?

Many companies regularly send their senior people abroad to increase their intercultural awareness and assume that everyone equally benefits from their overseas excursions.

This is not the case however.  Paula Caligiuri, a Professor of HR management at Rutgers University states, “People with certain personality characteristics will gain more.”  According to a study she conducted of 420 global leaders and 221 supervisors, she found that individuals with certain personalities were more open to accepting other cultures and because of this they were more effective global leaders.  For instance extroverts learn more about a culture by interacting with people and those with greater emotional stability will be more accepting of other cultures.

As she put it, “Those with greater cultural flexibility can substitute the things they know and appreciate from their country or culture with things from a different country or culture.  Their receptivity gives them a distinct competitive advantage.”

What are some of the global leadership challenges you face?  Would implementing a personality assessment to pin point individuals who would be effective global leaders enhance your corporate strategy?


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