Vodcast #36 - Global Mindset: Wisdom for a Globalised World by Lashley Pulsipher
A Global Mindset in Business Is the Difference Between Success & Failure.
72% of international Chinese companies surveyed believe the biggest difficulties that arise in conducting business overseas stem from cultural differences.
Culture shapes our behaviour. The places where we grow up, work and socialise influence how we perceive others and how we interact with them.
We develop a ‘mindset’ – a set of beliefs that can predetermine how we interpret and respond to different situations.
Globalisation and digital transformation are breaking down international barriers and bringing different cultures closer together.
Leaders who have a ‘global mindset’ are aware of the diversity across different countries and cultures, and of how activities in one area can impact another. They are adept at spotting patterns across territories and markets. They tend to be quite open to global opportunities and aware of the challenges different territories might present.
In this week’s video, @LashleyPulsipher, a global leadership consultant, shares actionable insights on the wisdom on cultivating a global mindset from the ancient Chinese military treatise, “The Art of War”, by Chinese general Sun Tzu.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn from a masterpiece on military strategy whose principles transcend warfare and have practical applications to all the conflicts and crises we face in our lives - in our workplaces, our families, even within ourselves.
So do watch the video and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
More about the Art of War and Lessons for Global Leadership:
Sun Tzu’s Art of War is one of the world’s most influential books. Focused on military strategy, its principles have a broad application and have been studied by mutilant and business leaders around the world.
If you’re currently pursuing a goal, like pursuing a new career, moving to a new country, or building a global team to a new stage of life, there is helpful advice in the chapter about what Master Sun calls The Nine Situations.
1. Scattered Ground
“When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory, it is scattered ground.”
“Avoid battling too close to home. Soldiers at war close to home are weak because of temptations to “disperse” and return to the comforts of family and friends.”The pursuit of something new requires entering into uncharted territory. The unfamiliar is often uncomfortable, and you can unconsciously give up on your goal by being pulled back to the familiar things in your life. This is why people often move to another city for a fresh start - there are less distractions or temptations in disperse ground. We often don’t realize how much our environment affects us and being too comfortable can easily derail our success.
Lesson: Being comfortable can be an obstacle to growth. A change in your environment may help you move away from the temptations of familiarity.
2. Facile Ground
“If the army has penetrated into hostile territory, but to no great distance, it is facile ground.” Later in the book Master Sun explains: The light ground means that you have just entered your opponent’s territory lightly, you have not established yourself, so the host country can easily kick you out. “
An important tactic to find success in light ground is to quickly establish a local network - attend a wedding, eat the food, learn the dances, follow the local meme accounts, learn some slang. Show people who you are while you show them that you value who they are.
I’ve had many expat colleagues who gathered after work at the local diplomatic club to complain about the local customs and cultures. Meanwhile I was out at local restaurants, dancing, reading books by local authors. I kept marching forward and moved quickly out of the light ground.
There is initial resistance in any new pursuit. And that’s when it’s important to focus on pushing forward . When learning a new skill, language, or starting a new job, it is easy to get frustrated and give up when hitting the first wall of resistance. And remember that your confidence and competence will grow with each step forward. Having a good network to tap into will help strengthen you as you push forward.
Lesson: Strengthening your position in new and unfamiliar territory by building a network of personal and professional contacts.
3. Contentious Ground
“Ground which holds great advantage to either side is contentious ground.”
Contentious ground is ground where the tide can turn, or situations where an underdog can gain a serious advantage. According to Master Sun this could be a narrow pass in the terrain, access to water, or an unexpected dead end. Think of how these situations have metaphorically changed the trajectory of your life.
“In the business sense, this advice can mean as a newcomer to a global market don’t go after the most desirable or profitable territory, look for what’s been overlooked. Think of the story of WalMart - they didn’t succeed by opening stores in New York or Los Angeles they went into undesirable suburbs first and became one of America's most successful companies.”
In an organization that could mean taking up a project that everyone else has deemed boring or not flashy enough to get recognition from the higher ups.
By taking advantage of unexpected opportunities you can establish your reputation as someone who is not deterred by challenges. You need both the wisdom to recognize these situations and the resourcefulness to take advantage of them. Too often, we fail to look beyond what is in front of us. It’s not a case of missing the forest for the trees, rather, it’s missing the terrain underneath the forest and the trees.
Lesson: Unexpected advantages or situations that are not part of your plans may appear; take them. Sometimes a detour can be a better route than your original plans.
About the Speaker:
Ms. Lashley Pulsipher is a global leadership consultant and ICF certified executive coach based in Denver, Colorado, USA. She is an enterprising former CxO who is accustomed to the dynamic pace of working in emerging & growth-leading economies from Africa to the Middle East and South Asia. She has more than a decade of experience leading regional teams across several industries including customer experience, luxury hospitality & real-estate, international security, and wellness. Lashley is an adept communications trainer specializing in executive presence, crisis management, and impactful presentation skills. She holds a master’s degree in International Policy. Lashley supports entrepreneurs by serving as a guest speaker, coach, and mentor to start-up programs around the world. She also volunteers as a facilitator for restorative justice programs in Denver, Colorado.