THE BLOG
10/24/2014 09:40 am ET Updated Dec 24, 2014

How to Develop Global Leadership Skills

One of the things I have noticed as a Third Culture Kid is the unique lens with which I see things. These things could range from politics to business to even sports and It has dawned on me that my lens can actually be used as a force for good; a force that allows me to become a global leader. As a TCK do you know that you are a global leader? That's right! You are even more of a global leader than some members of the United Nations. Here are a few reasons why and how you can improve on those skills.

Become Astute With Your Surroundings: You know that there are more than one perspective to consuming news. For example by listening to Al Jazeera and BBC you will get a different perspective from when you listen to CNN, Fox News or MSNBC. My advice is that you listen to all of them anyway because you will gain an understanding and a perspective that is rich and unbiased. How does this help you become a global leader as a TCK? For starters you will have more than one opinion to go off of when talking to people from different cultures especially when it comes to different issues and you won't appear naive. The same thing goes for sports, business and entertainment news. In order to accentuate these skills, I recommend using content aggregators like the Breaking News App, Bleacher Report, LinkedIn Pulse.

Speak A Foreign Language On Purpose: Having lived in multiple countries, chances are that you picked up a foreign language or two along the way. It is important that you don't lose this. When I lived in Burkina Faso, I picked up the French language but when I went back to live in Nigeria and subsequently the United States, I noticed that I was losing my French so I minored in it at college and started consuming news in French. It didn't feel natural at first but gradually I became more comfortable with it and I have been able to collaborate on multiple international projects because of my ability to speak some French. Busuu is a great resource to use when trying to learn multiple languages. As a global leader, speaking multiple languages is an invaluable tool to have as it often endears you to natives and makes negotiating business deals and mediating international disputes a lot easier.

Take Vacations To Foreign Countries: Planning a vacation? Why not go to that country that you know nothing about in Europe and spend two weeks there. EF Tours is great at putting together such packages. I used them to go to Greece, Italy, and Turkey and it was one of the most educational experiences of my life as I learned about the culture, food, and traditions of each country. Also the camaraderie I built was long lasting. You cannot become a global leader without understanding as many cultures as you can. As an expat, TCK, and global nomad you already have the advantage of having done that for a big part of your life but learning never stops so continue to explore countries you know little about.

Volunteer Abroad: To be a great leader you have to be a great server. I am a firm believer in service leadership because it makes one more empathetic. Throughout my undergraduate years I helped run two nonprofits aimed at raising awareness about orphans and HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa and some of the lessons I learned having to deal with limited finances and working with organizations that did not have basic amenities have helped me to become very resourceful. For opportunities to volunteer abroad check out Global Work & Travel Co.

As world citizens, the possibilities for us are endless and becoming a global leader is one of them so why not explore that path and see how many lives you can touch.