As our world "shrinks" and globalization increases, companies are changing strategies and operational procedures, which are dependent on leaders to deploy and implement. As companies evolve from domestic companies towards international, multinational and global companies, developing future global leaders becomes an essential component for successfully carrying out corporate global strategies. Because of this, there is an increasing need for global leaders; yet, they are not prepared, causing a significant shortage of global leaders, which is a critical issue for human resource departments.
Thus, global leadership development (GLD) programs are urgently needed to address the gap between global leadership needs and the capacity shortage, and should be a major focus of HR's talent management. Even though GLD significantly impacts company performance, current GLD programs offered by practitioners are deficient and there is disjointed research on the topic by scholars. However, there is a growing consensus around global leadership attributes (personality, values, cultural background and corporate work experience) used for the recruiting and succession planning talent management functions, global leadership competencies (engagement in personal transformation, knowledge, networking skills, social judgment skills, self awareness, and self regulation) used for the career development talent management function, and learning and development methods (expatriate assignment, global teams, experiential learning, coaching, intercultural training, assessment and reflection) used for the learning and development talent management function. The research findings indicate several implications for practitioners to address when building a global leadership development program. First, personality traits and global leadership competencies are primarily idiosyncratic to job function, but not to company type. Second, while leadership competencies are the same for domestic and global leaders, certain competencies are more critical for global leaders and the proficiency level typically increases. Third, the list of competencies must be manageable, clearly defined and comprehensive. And fourth, the learning and development method and corresponding budget prioritization is very dependent on the global leadership competency to be developed.