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1. What have you learned about global leadership that matters to you? Why does it matter?
The course helped shed light on what it truly means to lead people based in different regions
in the world, from different cultures and nationalities, genders, backgrounds, and professional
competencies. As an investment professional, leading a team of six employees, as well as being a
board and committee member in a few companies (both listed and private), learning about
leadership on a global scale went a long way in enhancing my understanding of how to engage
with a distributed and diverse group of stakeholders (internally and externally), to evaluate
investment and financial information and recommend critical decisions on buying, selling and
holding investment opportunities. The course has helped my professional development by raising
the veil on the major leadership barriers- different cultures, power of distance, navigating intricate
organizational cultures, and communicating through sophisticated technology and time zones
(Jenkins, 2012)1. Moreover, the crucial takeaway from the leadership course is that leading is about
acting as a reference role model to influence others and not command others.
The increased importance of distributed virtual multinational project teams, especially in
my profession, truly matters from the course. Indeed, leading these complex teams requires a
complex mix of prerequisite skills and competencies that help create a good understanding of how
to galvanize teams (Jenkins, 2012)2. This requires a certain level of flexibility in leading people
with various expectations about leadership, leading by example, slowly transforming into
leadership on local and global scales. The course also helped me understand the importance of a
leader’s authenticity in standing up for something, remaining true to the goal at hand inspiring
resilience among team members (Jenkins, 2012)3. Furthermore, as learned from this course, a great
1
Jenkins, D. (2012). Global critical leadership: Educating global leaders with critical leadership competencies. Journal of
Leadership Studies, 6(2), 95–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21241
2
Jenkins, D. (2012). Global critical leadership: Educating global leaders with critical leadership competencies. Journal of
Leadership Studies, 6(2), 95–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21241
3
Jenkins, D. (2012). Global critical leadership: Educating global leaders with critical leadership competencies. Journal of
Leadership Studies, 6(2), 95–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21241
Classification: Public
leader must have a clear vision that makes people believe and align with it, orchestrate his
subordinates to act towards achieving a common goal. These are necessary traits in the world of
investment management, traits that will be useful both today and in the future.
2. What have you learned about your strengths and developmental needs as a global leader?
During this course, one of my personal highlights was the NEO Personality Test, which
helped paint a personal portrait of my interpersonal characteristics as an aspiring leader. It helped
shed light on many personal factors, such as my personal emotional intelligence, attitude, and
overall motivation dynamics, which are viable resources for an aspiring leader. The NEO Test
helped shed light on my greatest strength, conscientiousness- managed a score of 79 out of a 100.
Rightfully so, the trait of being diligent, careful, and always wanting to do things the right way has
followed me since my childhood. It helps my personality as a leader hold me personally
accountable for members of my team, superiors, clients, and other stakeholders involved in my
work (Baptiste, 2018)4. It would be an added advantage to induce the same type of attitude and
sense of duty to those under my leadership, which would help build a culture of duty and
responsibility in getting things done.
Conscientiousness as a personal leadership trait would be heavily complemented by the
other strength from my NEO Test- agreeableness (a score of 65 out of a 100). An effective leader,
regardless of their sphere of influence, can only get the best out of subordinates by creating a
supportive environment (Baptiste, 2018)5. This requires a certain level of sympathy, empathy,
being considerate, and warmth that makes the leader approachable, leading by example, despite
demanding the best from subordinates through conscientiousness. This trait has manifested in my
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Baptiste, B. (2018). ScholarWorks The Relationship Between the Big Five Personality Traits and Authentic Leadership.
Baptiste, B. (2018). ScholarWorks The Relationship Between the Big Five Personality Traits and Authentic Leadership.
Classification: Public
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professional experience leading six team members through an inert and intrinsic willingness to
help my team members overcome challenges as opposed to creating strife through selfish,
manipulative tactics or coercion (Judge & Bono, 2014)6. A personal appreciation for harmony
helps create such an environment for those under my leadership influence.
This can be explained by the other strength identified by the NEO Test- extraversion- a
(score of 61 out of a possible 100). The desire for harmony in human interaction and abhorring of
tension in the workplace stems from a gratification from human interaction that I had not
effectively contemplated before the NEO Test. Indeed, those under my leadership influence have
attested to my passionate tirades filled with enthusiasm and encouragement, an assertive approach
to work, and generally forming a talkative environment that helps share ideas in the workplace
(Judge & Bono, 2014)7. I believe this goes a long way in forming and sustaining proactive
relationships in the workplace through creating an enabling environment via interpersonal
relationships.
Apart from these encouraging strengths, the NEO Test and the course, in general, helped
identify several weaknesses as an aspiring leader. My major weakness is a personal lack of
openness to experience- a score of 42 out of 100. As an investment official, a huge part of my job
entails reviewing and analyzing new investment opportunities/proposals that have a high
probability of yielding fruits through growth in the future. However, although I have learned to be
a bit more open to such experiences over the years, there is a huge part of my personality that gets
anxious and worries when contemplating investment decisions on the unknown. This pattern is
6
Judge, T., & Bono, J. (2014). (PDF) Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative Review. ResearchGate.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11202125_Personality_and_Leadership_A_Qualitative_and_Quantitative_Review.
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Judge, T., & Bono, J. (2014). (PDF) Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative Review. ResearchGate.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11202125_Personality_and_Leadership_A_Qualitative_and_Quantitative_Review.
Classification: Public
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clearly visible among my team members, which goes a long way in derailing a sober and informed
approach to risk measurement.
One of the most important qualities of a great leader is guiding subordinates through
measured and objective risk-taking, which is a huge part of investment analysis. As this weakness
suggests, there is an impending need for me to cultivate an openness to a new experience, which
is the major contributing factor to, perhaps, the only incidences of neuroticism (a score of 23 out
100) that manifests through bouts of anxiety, moodiness, fear and worry when making critical
decisions in areas I may not be well versed.
According to my score in (Cultural Compass Report), the analytical tool that provides key
insights into the consequences of culture, where the result reflects the analysis of my position
through six dimensions which are Power of Distance (“POD”), Individualism, Masculinity,
Uncertainty Avoidance, Long-term Orientation and Indulgence. My test result shows that I need
to work immediately on improving one important dimension, which is the POD (scored very high).
As I am belonging to a high POD culture (United Arab Emirates), the cultural context plays an
important role in the decision-making process where decisions are mostly made without the
subordinates’ participation. Therefore, I need to make sure my multinational subordinates are
engaged in any relevant decisions, as well as freely expressing their views.
3.
What do you need to do to capitalize on your strengths? What will you do to manage your
derailers (i.e., weakness or strength deployed at the wrong time/place/manner)?
There are several strategies that I can use to capitalize on my strengths and improve on my
weaknesses. Although my strengths help my current leadership personality portfolio, there is still
room for improvement. After I did a quick survey by asking my subordinates about their views in
order to determine what kind of leadership style I belong to, it became clear that I am among the
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leaders with a democratic leadership style. From my point of view, I believe that this trait (or style)
can be considered as a strength, which will support me – among other traits –to become a servant
leader.
Going back to my NEO test result, conscientiousness can be improved by taking a proactive
role in more tasks for my workplace. This would mean taking more responsibility and transferring
the same professional pressure (albeit the healthy kind) to my subordinates by delegation to
cultivate a longstanding culture of responsibility in the workplace (Nguyen, 2014)8. Delegating
such tasks, would help my team members in certain diligence-sensitive aspects such as meeting
deadlines, meeting stakeholders’ expectations, and overall delivery.
However, this would require a deliberate effort in my approachable, warm, cooperative,
and tempered traits as a leader. As learned from the course, Agreeableness in leadership is usually
a function of cross-cultural tolerance- the ability to blend, interact and gel well with people from
different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds. This requires a deliberate interaction with as
many cultures as possible from many different parts of the world (Nguyen, 2014)9. Reciprocating
subordinates’ expectations as a leader require a leader’s inherent ability to read their cultural views
and opinions that make up a bulk of their personality (Nguyen, 2014)10. I would take it up myself
to consume as much literature, film, and expressions of culture as possible, starting from my
company’s most promising and popular regional and international areas of influence in the MENA
region including GCC, Asia, Europe, and the U.S. This would go a long way in making it easier
8
Nguyen, S. (2014). Learning Global Leadership via Liberation Projects. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(1), 94–102.
https://doi.org/10.12806/v13/i1/ab1
9
Nguyen, S. (2014). Learning Global Leadership via Liberation Projects. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(1), 94–102.
https://doi.org/10.12806/v13/i1/ab1
10
Nguyen, S. (2014). Learning Global Leadership via Liberation Projects. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(1), 94–102.
https://doi.org/10.12806/v13/i1/ab1
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for me as a leader to appreciate people from these regions, relate with them and get the best out of
their professional competencies.
In terms of openness to experiences, I would strive to learn and consume as much
knowledge as possible on megatrends’ technologies like blockchain, NTFs, cryptocurrencies,
automation, machine learning, IoT, and the like that form a bulk of new business models and
investment prospects. Acting from the point of knowledge and research would go a long way in
easing my anxiety and worry regarding risk-based leadership decisions, which would have an
overlying positive impact on members of my leadership team. This would help make me a great
leader who will be ready for the next level.
4. What is your game plan for developing as a global leader? What are the one or two changes
you could make that would make you more effective (and happier) as a leader and as a
person?
My personal game plan for developing as a global leader is to approach every situation
from the point of knowledge and insight. The game plan requires an intentional immersion in the
world of investments, understanding globalization’s current and future megatrends, and what it
means for the future. It also involves deliberately improving my personal leadership and
personality traits that were captured well through the course. Furthermore, because of rapid
technological advancements, digital skills have become essential elements of global leadership.
Digital skills have become vital not only to leaders but also to workers and will be key components
of any global business.
This course has helped in cultivating a firm understanding of the importance of continuous
and cyclic improvement. As such, the five major changes I would make to improve my current
standing as a leader in enhancing my Cultural Intelligence (“CQ”). First, a cautious and curious
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inquiry into the different ways of life, virtues, challenging stereotypes and values of different
cultures would go a long way in appreciating these cultures, hence making it easier to work in
multicultural teams, an eventuality in the future. The second change is doing everything possible
to mitigate my lack of openness to new experiences through deliberate indulgence in news,
research, and available information on current market trends and investment prospects.
The third change is improving my ability to accept constructive feedback. It is essential for
me to accept feedback from my superiors and, regardless of tone and way of delivery. Displaying
emotions clearly and replying in a negative tone can have a negative impact on my career
progression. Additionally, I have to be receptive to feedback from my direct reports in order for
me to be a better leader. The fourth area of improvement is negotiation skills. A few years ago,
after several work-related differences and conflicts occurred between my bosses and different
government entities’ representatives, I realized that I have to work on sharpening my negotiation
skills. After taking an executive course related to this topic, I recognized that to be a good
negotiator you need to improve and develop certain related skills such as communication skills,
tactics, emotional intelligence, expectation management and active listening. Having said that, as
you improve your negotiation skills, you will be better able to facilitate problem-solving, build
professional relationships, and get support from your team.
Finally, the fifth change that I will be seeking is to focus on agile thinking. Agile thinking
is crucial because it identifies key problems quickly and tries to find the best solutions using the
tools and resources. Leaders must have the ability to adjust thinking and creativity as per the
circumstances and situations on the business ground, as the business environment becomes a more
challenging, dynamic and rapidly changing landscape.
Word Count: 2186
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References
Baptiste, B. (2018). ScholarWorks The Relationship Between the Big Five Personality Traits and
Authentic Leadership.
https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5993&context=dissertations
Jenkins, D. (2012). Global critical leadership: Educating global leaders with critical leadership
competencies. Journal of Leadership Studies, 6(2), 95–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21241
Judge, T., & Bono, J. (2014). (PDF) Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative
Review. ResearchGate.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11202125_Personality_and_Leadership_A_Qualita
tive_and_Quantitative_Review
Nguyen, S. (2014). Learning Global Leadership via Liberation Projects. Journal of Leadership
Education, 13(1), 94–102. https://doi.org/10.12806/v13/i1/ab1
Classification: Public
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