Global Leadership

8. Soft skills

After finishing 6-month Core Period and 5-week Lab Period , we are doing 3-month Elective Period. From over 100 options, you can take subjects we want to study.

In this article, I introduce the class “Global Leadership“.

Goals of this class is

  • Understand problems that arise in diversity environment or cross-cultural communication
  • Discuss the topics we learn in the class
  • Make use of them in practice

The diversity of IE Business School is one of the best in the world, so learning in such an environment is a very valuable experience for everyone.


In this class, we learned about possible problems and solutions in a diverse environment and cross-cultural communication through discussions. A famous book, “The culture Map” was introduced by the professor. We had a group discussion in each class, so we could talk with people from all over the world.

0. Global leader requirements

A global leader is someone who can lead a diverse team and achieve their goal. What do you think are benefits of diversity?


  • Various perspectives
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • High performance (in the long run)

In order to improve the performance of a diverse team , it is essential to create a unique rule and atmosphere within the team called “Third culture“. We need to deepen mutual understanding and create Third Culture by repeating 1. Ask, 2. Listen, and 3. Respond (return to 1) .

What do third culture include?

There are 9 points, but we keep in mind that everything starts from mutual understanding.

  1. Who decides?
  2. How to proceed work (process)
  3. Speed
  4. How to disagree
  5. Personal space
  6. Time management
  7. Quality (Efficiency, Quality or Value?)
  8. How to show empathy
  9. Motivation

Mindfulness and flow

Global leaders need to keep in mind; mindfulness and flow .

Having “Non-Judgment (Mindfulness)” and “Focus on present (Flow)” is the first step for a global leader.

1. Low context vs high context

High-context cultures such as Japan, China, and India communicate on the premise that they have something in common. The message is often carried in between the lines” We have a word in Japanese “read the air”.

On the contrary, low-context cultures such as the United States and Europe communicate in a clear and unambiguous way. The message is communicated and received literally. Often, after making a joke, adding “it’s a joke” is a characteristic of this culture.

What I learned

The value of words and the meaning of silence are completely different in each culture. Silence can be important in high-context culture, and clarification in low-context culture is extremely important.

Since the Japanese are the highest context culture, it is very important to say it out loud in a diversity environment like an MBA.

2. How to build trust

Task-based vs relationship-based

There are two types. Relationships are often important in Asian countries, and it is necessary to consciously build trust outside of work. Conversely, in a task-focused culture, it is important to focus on achieving results rather than overly demanding personal relationships.

What I learned

I did a diagnostic test “Free Personality Test ” that divides humans into 16 types . This is a very famous test in the world and is often used in corporate training. You can do it for free, so why not give it a try? It’s important to know what kind of type you are and your colleagues are.

3. Presentation (persuasion and feedback)

In the class, we gave a short presentation and gave feedback each other. Let’s take a look at the themes of cross-cultural communication, “persuasion” and “feedback“.

What I learned

We have to understand audience first. The points are as follows.

  1. Who will attend?
  2. What do they know? (Knowledge level)
  3. Why are they looking for a solution?
  4. What is the expected counterargument?
  5. Why am I giving a presentation? (Pathos)
  6. Who do they want to hear from?

Once you “understand audience,” let’s move on to “contents and structure“.

  1. What is the problem you want to solve?
  2. Detailed description of the problem
  3. What kind of solution do you offer?
  4. Logos (logic and story)
  5. Ethos (emotion)

It is especially important for international presentations to clarify the problem, provide a clear solution and convey the reason (evidence) “.

What I learned

The points for feedback are;

  • Give specific feedback (with concrete examples)
  • Converting from negative to positive
  • Tell them what they do well first and then tell them what they need to improve.

In short, it’s important to be specific, positive + points for improvement.

4. Leadership

As I learned in the Leadership class in Period 1, the starting point for leadership is to lead yourself. In this sense, self-understanding is very important. A good leader will attract members with Why, but before that, we have to find “What is my own why?“.

  • When are you happy?
  • What moment are you proud of?
  • When are you satisfied?
  • When did you do your best job?

By answering these questions, we can find my own vision.


Leadership requires a vision. Leaders are the ones who move people through their visions and help them achieve their own visions.

Personal Value Proposition

Value Proposition” means ” value for customers“. Many companies publish their value proposition, and the merits of products and services, the value of their existence and their uniqueness. In class, we considered “Personal Value Proposition”.

First of all, it is important to think about “who” and “what” we can provide as concretely as possible. 

Use a Personal Value Proposition to Land Your Next Job



Through lectures and group discussions in class, I learned the challenges that can occur in diverse environment and the ideas and techniques necessary for global leaders.


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