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Adaptive and Global Leadership

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Adaptive and Global Leadership


This study is conducted to explore the different challenges of global leadership. This study has presented some issues a global leader might face while dealing with global situations. Moreover, a global leader has to face many cultural barriers. These cultural barriers are related to the language and understanding of the employees. The global situations, virtual and face to face are also presented in the study. The Adaptive leadership theory for global leaders is found to be effective; this theory is also discussed to solve the issues of global leadership. Examples of contemporary leaders and my own experience of the leadership style are also discussed in this study.

Major problems faced by Global leaders

A global leader faces many challenges while dealing with the global situations, some of the major challenges are; the management of increased internal and external stakeholders, managing the different boundaries effectively and to meet the local needs and needs of global integration. These three are the major challenges to a global leader. The global business is becoming a part of almost every organization, and thus, the leaders face many challenges while doing their operations in the global market. They have to compete in a global market where big giants are already doing their best. The stakeholders are increased, such as the internal stakeholders, including the employees, directors, and the investors of the multinational company. And the external stakeholders, including the international buyers and the suppliers, etc. Now it is the responsibility of the global leadership to take care of these stakeholder’s benefits. The second issue is related to different boundaries. The boundary challenge includes different languages, different cultures, and different inter and intra organizational environments (Lauring et al., 2019). The global leadership has to face these issues wherever they start their global operations. The third issue is related to the fulfillment of the demands of the local people where a company has started its global business. Increasingly successful global organizations should be able to do both: to work successfully in local markets, they need to differentiate themselves and integrate to effectively increase business efficiency (Wadhwa and Parimoo, 2013).

These issues can be solved if the leader hires the right people for the virtual team. The leaders should foster a culture of communication. They should choose the best tools for remaining in contact with the virtual team. For the trust issues, the leaders should define the mission statement of the organization in a way to encourage collaboration and honesty. The leaders should ensure accountability for increasing productivity.

Cultural barriers

The cultural barriers which can be faced by a global leader include the different culture of the country where the company has started its global operations. Language is the main cultural barrier that a global leader has to face in his global operations. This barrier is considered to be the most crucial as it can create misunderstandings and conflicts of ideas. The different stereotypes can also become the cause of the judgmental behaviors towards one another. Non-verbal communication can also create some issues, such as signs or symbols. The meaning of non-verbal communication is different in every country. The behaviors and beliefs are also different, and a global leader can solve all these issues by just embracing all the differences.

Global situation virtual vs. face to face

The face to face global leadership is far more effective and easier as compared to the virtual one. Because virtual leadership requires a lot of effort from the leader to make effective decisions. The global virtual leadership is more challenging than face to face. Because in the face to face leadership, the leader can personally observe the whole scenario, and he can bring modifications to the cultural values of the organization to satisfy the local employees. And he can also assess the needs of the local buyer. Whereas, in virtual leadership, he has to be very vigilant. He should do a lot of research on the cultural values of different countries where the company is operating globally. Virtual leaders look for employees who are dedicated and trustable. The rise in the virtual team started when the businesses started their global operations. But the leaders started facing a new type of challenge with it (Zhu and Lee, 2017). That’s why the face to face leadership is more effective than virtual leadership. The leader can monitor the performance of the employees in a face to face leadership. But the benefit of virtual leadership is that the leaders can have the services of the skilled employee even if he lives outside the boundary. And it is the need of the time when the products and services are outsourced, and the company has to set up virtual leadership of the employees (Heller, 2010).

Adaptive leadership theory

Adaptive leadership is an applied leadership framework that benefits people and organizations to adapt and succeed in difficult environments. A leader can face a gradual but important process of change, both personally and collectively. The global leaders use this method to solve global leadership issues. This leadership skill includes the emotional intelligence of the leader; another skill is the organizational justice where the leader fosters the culture of honesty. And the leader always looks for ways to learn new things. Adaptive leadership helps to solve the global issues by navigating the business environment and creating a win-win solution for the issues (Yawson and Johnson, 2018).

Resolving global issues

Adaptive leadership helps to face the changing environment and culture in an effective way. The adaptive leadership makes the leader able to adopt the changed and different culture. The adaptive leader’s sense and anticipate the losses. The adaptive leaders must activate people to change their behavior and develop new behaviors. The adaptive leaders carefully examine the global issues and diagnose the issues to suggest the solutions.

Example of Contemporary Leader

Jack Ma is a great example of an adaptive leader because he has the ability to adapt the new things an bring changes. Jack Ma seeks to learn new things and try to adopt them. He always thinks beyond the limits, and he tries to adopt the change for organizational success. The adaptability skill has helped Jack Ma to become successful in his career.

My leadership style

I would also like to use the adaptive leadership style because it will enable me to adopt a new culture and new things. The adaptive leadership will help me to tackle global issues and challenges. I think that adaptive leadership will be helpful in solving many issues. The adaptive skill also helps to build relations to make the organizational links stronger.


This study concludes that the adaptive leadership is the most effective way to adopt the new culture and new environment. It can help a leader to solve global business issues. All the global issues, such as the increased stakeholders and the issues related to the boundaries, can be solved if the leader adopts the adaptive leadership style. This research has helped me to get information about the cultural barriers for the global leader and how he can deal with it. An example of an adaptive leader is also mentioned in the study. Jack Ma is the best example of an adaptive leader, and he always seeks to learn new things to improve his leadership style.


Wadhwa, S., & Parimoo, D. (2013) Leadership and its Challenges in the Globalizing World.

Heller, R. (2010). A cost-benefit analysis of face-to-face and virtual communication: overcoming the challenges.

Zhu, X., & Lee, K. S. (2017). Global virtual team performance, shared leadership, and trust: proposing a conceptual framework. The Business & Management Review8(4), 31.

Lauring, J., Makela, K., Butler, C., Lee, H., Luecke, G., Miska, C., ... & Zander, L. (2019). Meeting the challenges of globalization in order to make a difference: implications for teams and team leadership.

Yawson, R., & Johnson-Kanda, I. (2018). Complex Adaptive Leadership for Organization and Human Development.

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