Being a Global Leader From Home

Being a global leader does not necessarily mean that one has to be a world traveler. In fact, many world travelers on assignment for business often fail to engage in the culture of the countries they are visiting because of their tight schedules of assignment and the fact they seldom leave the culture of the organization they are working within (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012).

A global leader is one who is a vision that is inspired by a worldwide challenge that remains unsolved; they understand cultural, social, and political differences that keep people apart and they seek ways to build cultivate, and connect people despite their differences (Cabrera, 2012). Ultimately, global leaders have a respect for cultural differences (George, 2015) and they see those differences as valuable rather than hindrances.

In the current reality, many countries are beginning to look more and more like the United States as cultures are mingling on greater levels. With the growing availability of the internet, people all over the world are engaging in cultures they have never visited, and becoming quite familiar and culturally literate (Ewen, 2011). A global leader does not need to be a global traveler, they simply need to act as citizens of the world, pursuing challenges and opportunities in a way that brings benefits to everyone involved (Cabrera, 2012).

This author would argue that Jesus was a great global leader, despite never traveling more than 100 miles during his ministry (“Jesus’ Mission,” 2011). Jesus’ was motivated to solve a problem that was global in scope and impacted mankind of all cultural contexts: the problem of sin (Gen. 3:6-7). It isn’t one’s traveling capacity that defines their ability to be a global leader, it is their capacity for compassion across cultural boundaries and their desire to solve problems that benefit the world.


Cabrera, A., & Unruh, G. (2012). Being global: how to think, act, and lead in a transformed world. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.

Ewen, S. C. ., (2011). Cultural literacy and Indigenous health in medical education. Focus on Health Professional Education, 13(1), 68–74.

George, B. (2015). The New Global Leaders. People & Strategy, 38(3), 26–30.

Jesus’ Mission: 100 Miles. (2011, September 23). Retrieved from

2 thoughts on “Being a Global Leader From Home

  1. Brian J. Yu says:

    What’s interesting about the city I live in is that the nations are literally at our doorstep. Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. No need to venture to another country to have a global impact. If I can just impact my neighbors who are from different parts of the world, that could surely have global repercussions into the future.

    • bpardekooper says:

      Great point, Brian. What you are describing is actually becoming more and more common around the globe. Our global village is getting closer together.

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