8 Leadership Lessons From Running a Global Organization

One of the most popular Super Bowl commercials of all time ran back in 2000. Created for the technology company EDS – now a part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise – it featured grizzled cowboys on the range, talking in a casual, off-the-cuff style about what it’s like to drive a herd of felines across the open plains. With shots of tabbies fording streams and cowpokes brushing themselves with lint rollers, it relied on understated wit, deadpan performances and some special effects wizardry to playfully illustrate just how challenging the cliché of herding cats can be.

Anyone who’s ever had to lead a global team, a global project or a global department will instantly recognize the analogy. Getting widely disparate groups separated by language, culture and time zones to rally around a singular strategy or goal can be a daunting task. My four years as President of the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers, however, provided me with insights that can help alleviate some of these challenges.

IQ – as the Quorum is known – is an invitation-only group of top film and video production companies based in 70 countries around the world. All are industry leaders in their respective regions,working in corporate films, documentaries, TV programming, web videos, feature films and commercials. As such, they represent a cross-section of the media forms that are continuing to merge and cross-pollinate.

IQ’s members promote best practices in film production and maintain the highest creative and technical standards. As producers and directors, they understand the power of film to educate, motivate, inspire and persuade, and they’ve harnessed this power not just in service to clients but for many pro bono and social cause initiatives in their home markets and globally.

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