I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dax Grant, a premier authority on C-Suite leadership in global organizations. Dax is the former Global CIO at HSBC, the largest bank in Europe by total assets. She now serves as CEO of Global Transform and as a board director.
We spoke about the need for world-class technology executives to develop truly global perspectives in order to navigate successfully through the turbulence and uncertainty of rapidly changing modern markets.
“Today’s world is tremendously connected, we receive up-to-the-minute news anytime and with technology connectivity, we’re able to speak to each other any time -- night or day. All of these elements were simply local conversations years ago. These trends are now being brought to the fore globally,” says Dax. “There are so many places where we can add value to both our planet and our society, as well as ensuring the bottom-line results in the organizations that we run. There’s a real opportunity, but there’s also a vortex of global trends that sit underneath, as well.”
We also discussed the implications of this global mindset for C-Suite leaders in mid-to-large-cap companies. “It’s a whole net new normal, in reality,” she says. “We all know about organizations that prosper, we also know about organizations that leapfrog and it’s really those sought out leaders that stand out in the marketplace and make a difference in terms of the real-world impact of their particular organizations. They stand out in a very, very different way, in terms of the legacy they leave to society and the world.”
Dax’s observations are highly relevant for all of us serving in executive leadership roles. As she says, we are all connected globally – when a major event occurs, we all experience the impact to varying degrees. As executive leaders, we are expected to respond swiftly, effectively and appropriately to a much broader range of contingencies than ever before.
We also spoke about her new book, The Entrepreneurial Quotient. “It focuses on the optimal mix of societal leadership and entrepreneurial skills executives require to be fit for the future. Underneath that, the book explores how do we humanize businesses. It’s a book designed for the leadership of tomorrow,” Dax explains. “Yesterday’s leadership may have been great, but in today’s world, we class that as ‘good’ leadership. We’re looking for a whole new set of leadership skills and collaboration and entrepreneurial know-how in order to pull all of these things together. And really step into that societal role, as well as upholding our commercial and local roles, as well.”