Global Leadership Means You Understand The Global Village

This morning I was rummaging through my books & papers and happen-upon a program I had started to write but had not finished.  Actually,  it was an entire training program on Global leadership and facilitation. Not bad material, even if I say so myself :).

What struck me was the important reminder of our global make-up. It really does put things into perspective.

I think this is key information we should keep in mind when we are travelling or negotiating with different cultures. I thought this would make a good post that we both could reflect upon. Here goes…


  • Fact: Only 51 would represent North America; Only 45 would represent Western Europe. This is less than 10% of the population.

  •  Fact: North Americans, Europeans and Japanese make up 11% of the population. However this 11% owns 90% of the wealth in the world and  consumes more than half of its products.
  •  With a village of 1,000 people that represents the world’s population then:
    • 206 would be Chinese
    • 167 would be Indian
    • 79 would be from Central and South America
    • 50 would be from the former Soviet Union
    • 51 would be North American
    • 45 would be Western European
    • 33 would be Indonesian
    • 21 would be from Japan
    • 22 would be from Bangladesh
    • 21 would be from Nigeria
    • 24 would be from Pakistan
    • 118 would be from other African and other Asian countries
  •  Religiously, this global village would have the following
    • Christian 330
    • Non-Christian 670

I know this is old data- but I think it is often  forgotten. These facts are always intriguing to me.

So consider this post as a  “refresh” of our “perception screen”.  Like our computer, sometimes we find ourselves totally “hanging” to what we assume. Hit that refresh button when you find yourself doing that.  It appears  we are  not the center of the universe after all- that only occurs on our birthdays and only sometimes! 🙂 . I jest  but I think the point is made. Right?

As you reflect on this data,  how would you summarize or assess a person’s perception of the west towards the  east and vice versa- by just using this data?

It is natural to use one’s experience, standards and values  as a point of reference for anything we do or say and how we treat others. There are times we may wonder  and ask the question “Why another party cannot see, what we see?” I am British and Canadian: I have often heard similar sentiments from North Americans and/or Europeans. That is from my own cultural background.  My advice, is to step back and look at the context and the values of the other individual  and then adapt your behavior and  messaging  accordingly, so that you message is heard, or better still, internalized.  This also speaks to my previous posts on dress and global leadership standards.

When I am with a new team – especially a diverse, cross-functional team,  I spend time  up-front trying to get to  know them- nothing new here too,  however this is often forgotten. I often hear the term “Let’s bond!” This is a good start and that  is what it is, it is a start. Bonding is not a task – it is a journey. So remember the above facts, plan your bondING journey and  approach to build those relationships.

By the way, I live in a small village outside Toronto Canada. Population 600. LOL!

What size is your village? What has been your cross- cultural leadership experience?



The wonderful photo is by aussiegall

About Shirley Williams

I have a passion to create, resolve and build.I have had a pretty dynamic career that some say has led to a solid reputation as a visionary, result-driven and passionate leader. I say, simplify the complexity, work WITH people and you have a formula that not only deliver results but forms bonds that will stand the test of time. I have led numerous initiatives with a geographical scope that has included Canada, US, The South Americas,Europe and Australia. My professional career spans Biotechnology, Brand & Generic Pharmaceuticals, IBM Business Consulting Services, Healthcare, Retail, Electronics, more recently Mining and now Social Media. I am a biochemist and have a Master of Scence degree in endocrine pharmacology. I am a certified practitioner and professional in Change Management (Prosci), Project Management (PMP/PMI) and Social Media (OMCP, Online Marketing Certified Professional). So that makes my full title to be: Shirley Williams, MSc. PMP. CMC. OCMP. Having spent many years in the LifeSciences (you can check my career profile on Linkedin ) I have now directed my attention to bridging strategy and goals with social media. Loving it! In fact I am passionate about it. I have also produced and currently host my own internet radio show. My programs to-date have included Rise Of The Patient and Give Startups A Chance. I consider myself as an Experience Enabler. I facilitate and advocate for improved experience from the consumer perspective. Thank you for stopping by to check me out!

5 Responses to “Global Leadership Means You Understand The Global Village”


  1. Global Leadership Means You Understand The Global Village | Internet Billboards - April 24, 2012

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  2. Is Being On Time A Leadership Characteristic? | William Pearl - May 21, 2012

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  3. Is Being On Time A Leadership Characteristic? - Shirley Williams | Shirley Williams - September 9, 2013

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