Global leadership teams: diagnosing three essential qualities

Robert J. Thomas (First Author), Joshua Bellin (Participant Author), Claudy Jules (Participant Author), Nandani Lynton (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


Purpose – Companies that operate globally have to be adept at managing certain tensions: between global and local, between differentiated and integrated and between many cultures and one organizational culture. So the authors aim to interview top managers to study how global leadership teams are coping with these challenges. Design/methodology/approach – Over the past year, Accenture researchers interviewed more than 40 CEOs and top leaders at multinational companies to shed light on how they handle the “creative tensions” of competing on a global scale. Findings – Three attributes were repeatedly cited as enhancing the performance of top teams and their companies: a clear charter and operating principles; the need to be agile about the way they think and whom they draw into the decision‐making processes; and the ability to “change ahead of the curve,” Practical implications – The article describes how successful firms address each of the three challenges the leaders identified. Originality/value – The article includes a diagnostic that leaders can use to see how they compare with highly successful global firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
JournalStrategy and Leadership
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Competing on a global scale
  • Cross‐functional committees
  • Globalization
  • Leadership
  • Managing global leadership teams
  • Scenario exercises
  • Strategic direction
  • Talent development
  • Team operating principles

Indexed by

  • ABDC-C
  • Scopus


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