You Can’t Be What You Can’t See

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom delves deeper into the meaning of the famous quote “you can’t be what you can’t see”, and how it applies to leadership.

You Can’t Be What You Can’t See

  • “You can’t be what you can’t see”, is all about being able to see somebody like themselves. 
  • A role model is someone who inspires others and having a role model creates tremendous possibilities.
  • As individuals, we need to be conscious of how we can become role models for others.
  • As a leader, the way you talk about yourself, the way you dress, the way you walk and talk, speak loudly about you. 
  • Leaders should encourage other people to become role models and think of ways to elevate things to become more visible. 

Today’s Take-away

  • How can you be a role model for others? 
  • How do you encourage people and bring other role models into play?

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The Dominant Culture

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses dominant cultures, and how leaders can effectively challenge and address barriers between majority and minority cultures in a more inclusive way. 

The Dominant Culture

  • Dominant culture can also be referred to as the majority culture.
  • Rather than implying how something is done, leaders who are members of a dominant culture should think about ways to challenge differently, to listen to the minority, and be more inclusive.
  • Dominant cultures have privileges that often we don’t realise or take for granted.
  • Global leaders need to have a better understanding of individual thinking and behavioural styles when working across cultures. We need to be more conscious about how we can make a contribution to the organisation in a way that everybody benefits.
  • When a member of a minority becomes a member of the majority, they embrace it. They often work harder to maintain the rules and demonstrate loyalty. They often change the way they behave so that it fits the majority.
  • We all have areas where we are a member of the dominant culture and a member of the minority. In order to be more inclusive, we need to be more conscious of where are we a member of the dominant culture in terms of gender, religion, ethnicity, culture, and type of interest. 

Today’s Take-away

  • As a member of a dominant culture, how do you exhibit being more conscious and being more inclusive to listen to the voice of the other?

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Intention vs Impact

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses how to lead intentionally and deliver outcomes that are consistent with one’s cultural values.

R U OK? 

  • Australia has one of the highest levels of suicides in the world per capita or population.
  • Held annually on the second Thursday of September, Australia’s R U OK? Day aims to remind everyone to connect with their family, friends and colleagues who may be suffering from emotional difficulties and ask them “are you ok?”.
  • We all suffer anxiety. The only people who do not suffer anxiety are psychopaths. We need to acknowledge that we all suffer from anxiety and there are various ways that we can deal with it. Exploring ways to deal with anxiety is a good thing.
  • Mental health is the wellbeing of the mind.

Intention vs Impact

  • When introducing initiatives, we need to be conscious of our own biases. Ask questions. Think about how the initiative will land and gather some feedback.
  • Be adaptable. Depending on the feedback, you may have to adapt something else or completely change what you are offering. 
  • Global organisations need to be more inclusive of the local market and the local culture. 
  • Global organisations need to think about how they can deliver a similar outcome that addresses the core values of a particular culture.
  • We need to spend more time inquiring about the impact rather than explaining our intentions.
  • Be more curious. Spend more time to think about the impact in a way that you educate yourself and hence, you can also educate others.

Today’s Take-away

  • How do you ask questions to ensure that your initiative has the desired impact? 
  • How do you adapt to things and ask more questions about the impact rather than explaining your intentions?

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Humour Across Cultures

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses how humour is perceived across different cultures and how it can either make or break cultural boundaries.

Humour Across Cultures

  • A lot of jokes are based on delivery, timing, nuance, and commonality. It’s important to have a common understanding frame of reference for what you are talking about.
  • Humour is a mindset. It is all about being able to look at things in a funny way.
  • A joke is more about laughing about somebody else rather than laughing at ourselves or with others.
  • Laughter is great because it creates a level of commonality. It lightens people up and shifts the mood. If you can get people laughing, it is certainly one thing that you should do.
  • Even when you are being self-deprecating, it is important to be careful especially if you don’t know who your audience is. Sometimes, being too self-deprecating may dent your image.
  • As leaders, it’s important for us to know when and how to use humour.
  • Every culture has some idiosyncratic points that everybody in that culture knows about when it is being referred to. Utilise these things when talking to people.
  • Do not laugh at other people. Laugh at yourself or laugh together. 

Today’s Take-away Action

  • How and when do you use humour as a leader? 
  • How do you bring a level of lightness into your interactions?

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Negotiating Across Cultures

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses negotiating across cultures and how leaders can effectively address the challenges around that.

Negotiating Across Cultures

  • The better prepared you are, the better your options are going to be.
  • Highlight the things that you are negotiating about.
  • A successful negotiation is where both parties walk away with a sense of satisfaction. 
  • Know when you need to walk away. When entering into a negotiation, you need to be prepared with some points and ideas on when you have to walk away so that you don’t give away things without realizing it.
  • Be really clear about the outcome that you want. At the same time, understand what the outcome is for the person you are negotiating with regardless of culture.
  • Negotiating is part of doing business.
  • Just as every culture has a model for leadership, every culture has a model for negotiating. It is always useful to understand these different models for every culture.

Other things to keep in mind when negotiating across cultures

  • Objective and Subjective Pricing – In a lot of cultures, particularly developed countries, pricing is objective wherein you are expected to pay the price that is indicated. Whereas in other parts of the world, it is much more subjective and there are a lot of variables that impact the price. 
  • The Dimension of Power – In hierarchical cultures, customers have a tremendous amount of power whereas in egalitarian cultures negotiation is more around peers and is mutually beneficial to both parties.
  • Relationship vs Task – In many cultures, building a relationship first is important before entering a negotiation.
  • Pricing – some cultures like to start the price really high so that there is a buffer. Other cultures don’t do that.

Today’s Take-away Action

  • What’s your view around negotiation and how do you negotiate?
  • When negotiating across cultures, how do you go about resolving it in a way that is useful for both parties?

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Conflict in Virtual Teams

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom talks about how leaders can effectively manage and resolve conflict in virtual teams. 

How to Manage Conflict in Virtual Teams

  • Cultural Difference – the farther away you are from the other party, the greater the difference in culture is.
  • Time zones – be conscious of the time and make sure it is feasible for both sides.
  • It is well worth it to bring people together when working on high stakes projects. It lets you know how well everyone works together and it accelerates the project.
  • Do regular check-ins.
  • Provide cultural awareness – use organisational values as a framework when talking about cultural differences.

Today’s Take-away Action

  • Think about your virtual team and assess how well they are doing?
  • What methodology are you using to manage conflict in your virtual team?

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Feedback Across Cultures

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses why it’s important for leaders to be always looking for opportunities to provide feedback and how they can effectively do that.

Feedback Across Cultures

  • Feedback is necessary to all human beings. It helps us improve and lets us know that we are on track. 
  • Feedback is a critical part of development. 
  • Leaders should always be looking for opportunities to provide feedback.
  • Feedback is part of culture.
  • When working across cultures, it is important for leaders to have a range of styles when it comes to delivering feedback.
  • It is important for leaders to be aware of the different methods of providing feedback, and how they prefer to give and receive feedback. More so, it’s important for a leader to broaden his repertoire in order to be able to flex his style because at the end of the day, we all want the feedback to be effective.

The Four Different Models for Providing Feedback

  1. The Hamburger  – saying something positive then giving the negative feedback, and finishing off with something positive. This model gets people to focus not just on constructive feedback.
  2. The Meat Only – only giving the negative stuff. This model works really well in cultures where there are high values and appreciation for direct speech patterns.
  3. The Open Sandwich – starting off with the negative feedback and then finishing off with something good.
  4. The Vegetarian – Using metaphors, stories, analogies, and examples where one does not need to be so direct. 

Today’s Take-away Action

  • Assess your style of giving feedback. 
  • Try broadening your repertoire in providing feedback. What results did you get?

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Transitioning to Retirement

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses transitioning to retirement and how leaders can effectively prepare themselves for it.

Transitioning to Retirement

  • One of the first things you should do to prepare yourself for retirement is to stop thinking about it. 
  • It is important for organisations to provide transitioning to retirement coaching to help their people navigate the change.
  • Mental health is important. As a leader, you need to think about keeping your brain active. How do you keep yourself engaged with the society and how do you keep yourself abreast of what’s happening in the world.
  • Wisdom is what happens when you have an experience that you can learn from.
  • Physical health is as important. You need to maintain a certain level of physical flexibility.
  • Emotional health is your sense of well-being.
  • Spiritual health is all about spending more time thinking about your inner life, your legacy. 
  • Meditation helps you build a level of spirituality. It’s a practice that you may want to incorporate more if you haven’t done that when you were younger. Not only does it help you spiritually but also mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  • Think about how to embrace being an elder. What does that mean for you and the community you are in? It is the legacy that you will leave behind. 

Today’s Take-away Action

  • Are you looking to retire in the next 12-24 months? If yes, how are you preparing for it?
  • What is your level of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health?

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Where Are You Leading From?

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses the three different leadership styles and asks: “Where are you leading from?”

Where are you leading from?

  • There’s a difference between leading from the front, leading from the middle, and leading from the back.
  • Leadership is the ability to influence and motivate someone to contribute to the success of an organisation.
  • Leading from the front is the traditional model of leadership where a leader is in front of his followers.
  • To lead from the middle is all about being more democratic and consensus-driven. Leaders who lead from the middle engage in conversations, ask for input, and present themselves as part of the team. 
  • Leadership from the back is where a leader looks at possible things they can help put in place so that his team can flourish.
  • The ability to shift from one leadership style to another when working across cultures is important. 
  • A good leader knows their natural leadership style that they would default to under pressure, but demonstrates awareness of the environment and culture they are currently in as to what leadership style is most appropriate. 

Today’s Take-away Action

  • What is your leadership preference? Where does your natural style fit in among the different leadership models?
  • How do you learn to broaden your repertoire and try something different? How did that feel and what did you learn from it?

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What Standard Will You Accept?

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses the importance of setting our standards as leaders and standing up for those in order to create a positive change. 

Setting Our Standards

  • “The standard you walk by is the standard you accept” – General David Morrison
  • We’re all trying to have a bigger impact and make a positive change and sometimes all it takes is for us to make a stand. 
  • Be present and deal with what is. Being present is a key mindset skill. 
  • Always pay attention to the things that are happening in your organisation and your team. If you are not always paying attention, these things will just pass you by. 
  • We tend to focus on things that we are comfortable with, that sometimes we may not see all the other things. Pay attention and take action even on those things that are uncomfortable. 
  • Leaders sometimes have to do things that are painful but we need to take action. We need to do something rather not do anything at all. 

Today’s Take-away Action

  • What sort of standards are you setting as a leader and how do you stand up for those?

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