Leadership and CQ

Leadership and CQ

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses leadership, global leadership and why cultural intelligence is important in both.

This is a change of format from previous episodes to a longer form discussion.

What is it about global leadership that requires CQ?

  • Before we look at global leadership, we should just look at “leadership”.
  • There are in fact, more than 350 different definitions of leadership in the literature and all of them have a couple of things in common. All the definitions obviously have a leader. They have followers and they have the environment.
  • Leadership is really about the link between the leader, the followers and the environment.
  • House – “Leadership is the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute to the effectiveness and success of an organisation.”
  • Global leadership is the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others who are from a different cultural background to that of the leader to contribute to the success of the organisation.
  • As a global leader, there are numerous skills that you need to be able to bring into play to help you be more successful.
  • You need to be thinking about how do I language things in such a way so that the other understands.
  • When we become a global leader, our domain changes. From being in a one single domestic focus, you suddenly become focused on multiple countries and it may be initially just a region, and as you move up the corporate ladder (multi-nationals), your span increases.
  • The world is your marketplace. If you think about the aspects of globalisation, it has flattened the world. We now have a virtual workforce. A lot of organisations now outsource their work to people from around the world.



  • A key challenge that gets torn up in lots of global organisations is communication. That whole aspect of what is the lingua franca that we are going to use and how do we ensure that even though it’s English, (the main language for most multi-nationals) that “one language” in itself has different variations.
  • Communication tends to be a key issue in helping organisations come together.


Understanding people’s motivations in different cultures

  • Culturally Implicit Leadership Theory – talks about the fact that we make an assumption that leadership is the same globally as locally, when it’s not. And so, what may look like a really effective leader in one cultural environment may not be effective in another.


Where does cultural intelligence come into that? How does that fit with emotional intelligence?

  • As a leader, you need to have a high IQ. That’s a given. You need to be intelligent. You need to have high managerial intelligence which is the ability to be planning, budgeting, resourcing. It’s actually managing the business. You need to be good at that. You need Emotional Intelligence – the ability to have empathy with people.
  • When you become a global leader. When you’re working across borders with people of different cultures, you need that additional skill of cultural intelligence, which is defined as the ability to be effective in culturally diverse settings.


What can we look forward to in future episodes?

  • What does culture look like and why is that important?
  • Why do we need to spend more time thinking about this?
  • How do we look at using these skill sets, this information to help us become more effective?


Today’s Take-away Action

CQ is something that should be learned if you want to be a successful global leader.   

    1. Do a quick self-assessment – IQ, MQ, EQ, CQ.
    2. How can you improve?
    3. What is one small thing that you can do on each one of those aspects to help you be a more effective leader?


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