Since the 1980s there has been a trend for large companies to think globally: producing goods delivering services and selling them, all over the world. And when companies operate at international level they need international managers. What is an international manager and is such a person easy to find?
According to a recent survey, the top characteristics of an international manager include many soft skills, such as the ability to work in international teams, adaptability to new situations, sensitivity to different cultures (and awareness of own cultural background), and relational skills. The manager should be self-reliant and have an open, non-judgemental personality.
Another important characteristic is strategic awareness: the manager should have a global view of his or her contribution at work. In other words, the manager should think „world” and not see work responsibilities and needs only from the perspective of his or her own national background. An international manager must become quickly involved in matters affecting several countries. For example, he or she must be sensitive to, and aware of, the market requirements of a wide range of countries right from the start.
The current position
A recent survey of EU companies reported that the proportion of managers with international experience ranges from about 1% in some UK companies to 80% in one Swiss company. In many firms, only 5-10% of managers are likely to have international experience.
Companies are beginning to recognise that they do not have enough high-quality people for their international activities. They often have problems releasing experienced people from existing operations in order to lead new international ventures. Indeed, there are signs that a shortage of internationally-skilled people may be an important constraint on firms’ global ambitions.
Ex. 1 What collocations can you form out of these words:
1. to become globally
2. to deliver goods
3. to produce in teams
4. to think involved
5. to work services
6. international ambitions
7. soft awareness
8. strategic level
9. wide range
10. global skills
Ex. 2 Match the two columns to find equivalents of these phrases:
Ex. 3 Translate these sentences using expressions from the previous exercises:
1. Świadomość strategiczna i przystosowalność to ważne cechy menedżera.
2. Odpowiedni (right) kandydat powinien mieć globalne ambicje i myśleć globalnie.
3. Nowe pokolenie (generation) menedżerów wykazuje (demonstrate) niedobór umiejętności miękkich.
I know English idioms!
In this lesson we can read about international mangers. In English, however, there are different fixed expressions to name managers:
• line manager – the person who is directly responsible for managing the work of someone else in a company or business, and who is one level above that person (bezpośredni przełożony)
• middle managers – the people within a company who are in charge of departments or groups, but who are below those in charge of the whole company (manadżerowie średniego szczebla)
One of the roles of managers is to employ people. In English the verb “employ” can also be expressed as a phrasal verb “take on” (przyjąć), e.g.
• We have taken on 5 new people this year.
What would it mean then if we say:
• I have taken on too much work recently.
Well, here “take on” means “accept” (wziąć na siebie).
This lesson’s reading text asks and answers these questions: What is an international manager and is such a person easy to find?
To make a question with the verb “to be” we have to use this pattern:
Question word to be subject rest of the sentence
Who am I talking to?
Which are your children
Where is Mike?
When are you free?
Why is she so sad?
international – międzynarodowy
globally – globalnie
to deliver – dostarczać
to operate – tu: działać
soft skills – umiejętności miękkie
recent – niedawny
survey – ankieta, badanie
top chracteristics – najlepsze cechy
include – zaliczać, obejmować
ability – zdolność
team – zespół
adaptability – przystosowalność
sensitivity – wrażliwość
awareness – świadomość
cultural background – tło kulturowe
relational – pokrewny
self-reliant – samodzielny
(non-)judgemental – (nie)oceniający
personality – osobowość
global view – globalny ogląd
contribution – wkład
in other words – innymi słowy
responsibility – odpowiedzialność
to become involved – zaangażować się
matter – sprawa, kwestia
to affect – dotykać, dotyczyć
requirement – wymóg, wymaganie
wide range – szeroki zakres
current – obecny
to report – tu: dowieść, wykazać
to range from … to … – wynosić od … do ….
to recognise – rozpoznawać
high-quality – wysokiej jakości
to release sb from sth – uwolnić/zwolnić kogoś od czegoś
to lead – prowadzić, przewodzić
venture – przedsięwzięcie
shortage – niedobór
constraint – ograniczenie
1. to become involved
2. to deliver services
3. to produce goods
4. to think globally
5. to work in teams
6. international level
7. soft skills
8. strategic awareness
9. wide range
10. global ambitions
1. Strategic awareness and adaptability are important characteristics of a manager.
2. The right candidate should have global ambitions and think globally.
3. The new generation of managers demonstrate a shortage of soft skills.