Global6 – Assessing Leadership in a Global Context – Part 2

The Global6 360° feedback instrument is a brand new tool for global leaders developed by the Center for Creative Leadership.  It is ideal for business managers who are leading global teams.  Like any 360° instrument, Global6 provides the opportunity for a leader’s boss, peers, and direct reports to provide him/her with direct feedback.  The focus of that feedback is on leadership effectiveness and Global6 helps a leader to note how their leadership style might or might not be effective in different cultures.

The instrument is based on the ground-breaking research conducted by the GLOBE (“Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness”) research program conceived and managed by Robert House of the Wharton School of Business. 17.300 middle managers from 951 organizations  in 58 countries contributed to the findings.  It is the most comprehensive study to date that has empirically researched the relationship between culture and leader behavior.

One of GLOBE’s major findings was to make explicit how other cultures conceptualize leadership. Leader effectiveness is contextual.  People’s expectations of leadership are shaped by their early experiences with leaders which in turn are shaped by one’s culture and upbringing. As a result, what consititutes good leadership across the world differs depending on your cultural perspective.  For example, compassionate leadership which is concerned with the well-being of others may be seen as effective or ineffective depending on what culture you come from.

The GLOBE study began by looking at 112 leadership characteristics such as trustworthiness, decisiveness, modesty, etc. This list was statistically boiled down to 21 scales of relevant leadership characteristics.  In turn, these 21 characteristics were conceptually grouped into 6 leadership dimensions.

It is these characteristics and dimensions that form the backbone of the Global6 360° instrument.  The SIX leadership dimensions in Global6 are: Hierarchical, Autonomous, Humane-Oriented, Participative, Charismatic, and Team-Oriented.  A leader gets feedback across all of these dimensions.

Let us take a look at the type of output generated by this instrument.  Below is a matrix which summarizes the information for the Hierarchical leadership dimension.  The leader in question had teams reporting to him in the Anglo-Saxon World, Latin Europe and Scandinavia.  The hierarchichal dimension incorporates various characteristics – among these are the degree of formality and status-orientation of the leader.   As can be seen from the table, this leader’s teams disagree with their perception of the leader’s style.  Whereas Latin Europe and the English-speaking teams would like to see more hierarchical behaviors than the leader is currently showing, the team in Scandinavia finds the style just right.  In addition, because the Scandinavian team is in the lower left-hand quadrant, they would find any more hierarchical behavior actually ineffective.

Sample A - Hierarchy - Regional Breakout

Similar data is available for each of the 6 dimensions with also detailed information on the 21 characteristics.  Data is also presented not just by region but also by role.  For instance, a leader can see how his boss, direct reports and peers are rating him/her and how this fits in with their perception of good leadership.

Below is a table which highlights where there is the greatest amount of disagreement of ALL raters with the leader’s style.


This wealth of information can provide valuable insights for today’s global executive. This is concrete and practical information based on the feedback from the leader’s own teams.

“Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing.”   Steve Jobs