by Malcolm Nicholson – iCN Journalist (UK)

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing John Owen, who has been leading technology organisations for around 30 years. He has a wealth of experience in both international markets and leading global teams. For the last five years, he’s been running a global software company, based in India, during which the revenue has increased by 5x, the share price by 10x and Employee and customer satisfaction scores are at an all time high. I think we call that a full deck in terms of achievements.

We talked about leadership, with a particular emphasis on leading multigenerational teams, which, of course, for young managers particularly can produce a range of individual challenges.

I asked John what he saw as the biggest challenges for leaders in global businesses during 2021.

‘2020 was probably the biggest challenge, when everything changed because of COVID. We built confidence through 2020, moved to work from home, and realised we could still run our companies.

But leaders need to be more adaptable and acknowledge we have moved out business into people’s private residences – starting with simple things like being more adaptable to dogs barking, children crying and doorbells ringing and clarity around what can be delivered and when.

In cross cultural roles our challenge is to create an environment for the smart people who usually are at the edge of the business, to feel empowered, trusted and respected, to make the right decision on behalf of the company. What I say is irrelevant, but when somebody comes to interview, do they experience what we projected on our website and social media – is it authentic?  Authority comes from getting  the right person to make that decision on behalf of the company, which is now getting closer to the edge of the organisation. Intelligence is where the people touch the technology or touch the customer or touch the market or touch our recruitment, because that’s the brand of the organisation.

And in 2021, I honestly think businesses can be more dynamic. It is now a truly global marketplace for talent.’

To view the full video interview, click HERE

Source: iCN Issue 34  (Leadership Coaching); pages 16-19

About Malcolm Nicholson

Malcolm Nicholson is the owner and Coaching Director for Aspecture, and has worked successfully with a wide range of international business people for 20 years, enabling them to improve business results and personal growth through transformational changes. To find out how he can help your organisation contact him at or on +44 1932 267597.