Coaching in a Global World

Philippe Rosinski’s latest book Global Coaching offers an integrated approach to address today’s complex challenges and to foster sustainable success.

More and more leaders and coaches have become aware of the necessity to become “global coaches”: to move beyond traditional approaches to be able to address increasingly complex challenges in our international and interconnected environment.

However, the term “Global Coaching” can be misleading. In some cases, 

“global” is meant in an international sense but ignores other types of cross-cultural differences and misses multi-faceted integration. In others, “global” is understood as “holistic” but still leaves out crucial perspectives. 

Global Coaching is about leveraging various perspectives both for defining success in a broad and sustainable way (the what question) and for effectively enabling this success (the how question). It is a more versatile, creative and complete form of coaching, becoming essential both for professional coaches and for leaders as coaches.

Global Coaching focuses in particular on the six interconnected perspectives described here:

SPIRITUAL An increased awareness of connection with oneself, others, nature, and with the immanent and transcendent “divine.” The ability to find meaning, derive purpose, and appreciate life.  Meaning and Unity

See comment in Cultural section below.

A group’s culture is the set of unique characteristics that distinguishes it from another group.

External characteristics include behaviours, artefacts, and products. Internal characteristics include norms, values, and basic assumptions

Diversity and Creativity

In our complex, multicultural, and turbulent environment, we must learn to embrace diversity, bridge cultural gaps, explore cultural differences for more creativity, live meaningfully, act responsibly, overcome divisions, and strive for internal and external unity.


An activity that builds and maintains your power so that you can achieve your goals. Power is the ability to achieve your meaningful, important goals. Politics is a process. Power is potential, and it comes from many sources.

Power and Service
Politics is inherent to organizational life and is essential for leadership.
Politics becomes constructive when it also works in the service of others. As power gives impact and leverage, service can guide your actions.
PSYCHOLOGICAL The study of individual personality, behaviours, emotions, and mental processes. While the Cultural focus is collective here the primary focus is the individual. Emotional and Relational
The psychological and managerial perspectives are the two pillars of traditional coaching.

"Management is a task that consists in focusing resources on the organization’s goals, and then monitoring and managing the use of these resources.”
(David Campbell)

Productivity and Results
See comment in section above.


PHYSICAL Everything relating to the body.  Health and Fitness
Health and fitness are fragile foundations that can easily be taken for granted but should be actively nurtured instead. “Mens sana in corpore sano,” a healthy mind in a healthy body, is a fundamental aspect of global coaching. 

Source:  “Global Coaching”  p4-5

Consider for example working with a stressed-out coachee, who is eager to become more serene.

A typical approach would involve the psychological perspective. And within psychology, you might call upon Transactional Analysis to help your coachee identify “constraining messages” such as “Be perfect!” and “Be nice!” Wanting to always be perfect and please others can indeed generate considerable negative stress. You could help your coachee give himself permission to be effective rather than perfect and to take care of himself too.

This psychological approach alone could go a long way. However, you could enrich it further by calling upon additional perspectives. You could encourage your coachee to engage in regular fitness training (with medical supervision). Endurance sports help reduce stress and boost well-being.  You might coach from a managerial perspective: better time management, personal organization and appropriate delegation could eliminate several stressors. Furthermore, coaching from a political perspective would allow your coachee to reduce the negative stress linked to a sense of powerlessness, to gain power (notably by proactively building alliances) and increase confidence.

Coaching from a cultural perspective would help your coachee examine norms, values, and assumptions that might contribute to his state and discover more effective alternatives. Finally, coaching from a spiritual perspective would help your coachee reduce his uneasiness and restlessness by connecting with a sense of meaning and purpose.

My book describes all this in greater depth and detail and discusses the emerging paradigm of complexity and the implications for leadership and coaching. What I want to emphasize here is that global coaching can be viewed as an integrated approach to develop ten global leadership qualities needed to effectively address the 21st century’s complex challenges and the way Global Leaders (GLs) embody them:

1  Multiple-perspectives outlook
A broad range of different disciplines, alternative cultural worldviews, various forms of intelligence as well as diverse archetypes available to us.
GLs address challenges by combining openness, curiosity and ability to see reality from multiple perspectives.

2  Doing well by doing good
Eager to frame personal and organizational goals in the broader context of improving the world.
GLs strive to achieve meaningful objectives. Committed to sustainable progress by reconciling profit and purpose, they use research linking doing well with doing good to act most effectively and strategically. It supports them to articulate compelling arguments that bring all stakeholders on board. Not trapped in conventional thinking, their entrepreneurial spirit goes hand in hand with an environmental and social conscience, with a commitment to innovation and long-term excellence for addressing complex societal challenges.

3  Authenticity
Living a genuine life they can truly call their own.
GLs have left autopilot mode, their existence forged by society, acting out of habits that can be constructive or destructive. GLs are on a journey to live a life they can truly call their own.

4  Health and fitness
Taking proactive steps to be healthy and fit, and to promote wellness in their organizations.
GLs go beyond following basic nutritional advice and doing a bit of exercise. They tend to follow a low-calorie, plant-based diet high in unrefined carbohydrates. Their fitness regimen is varied including cardiovascular endurance, strength and power, balance and flexibility. In this way, they increase their well-being, quality of life and effectiveness. GLs also encourage wellness programs in their organizations, thereby achieving a return on investment that can be as high as 6 to 1  (Berry, Mirabito and Baun December 2010).

5  Results-orientation
Achieving results and adding value.
GLs are productive and results-oriented. They adapt their leadership style to each situation, taking particular account of followers’ readiness (ability and willingness) to achieve a task. They build trust and delegate authority.

6  Emotional and relational competences
“Emotionally intelligent” and able to build constructive relationships.
GLs take personal responsibility for their actions.  In touch with their emotions they are assertive (vs aggressive or submissive) and psychologically minded. They recognize and avoid negative psychological games, understand defence mechanisms and don’t fall prey to neurotic, immature patterns. They are familiar with personality differences and able to make the most of these

building on strengths. Favouring an integrated approach rather than limiting themselves to a one school of thought they master varied communication techniques to open up possibilities.

7  Political know-how
Engaging in constructive politics.
GLs appreciate politics as inherent to organizational life since we need others to make our goals happen. Instead of viewing politics as a priori negative, GLs engage in constructive politics. While power gives impact and leverage, service guides our actions. GLs understand the sources of power and take proactive actions to increase their power, which is their ability to achieve important, meaningful objectives. They build alliances out of their commitment to serve immediate constituencies and stakeholders as well as humanity at large, striving to become “enlightened builders”.

8  Cultural inclusiveness
Leveraging cultural differences and building unity in diversity.
GLs appreciate the legitimacy and merits of different cultural perspectives. Seen as a source of richness and an opportunity to go beyond current limitations, GLs have an inclusive and dynamic concept of culture that contrasts with the traditional static and binary view. They master a vocabulary to describe cultural orientations in areas of practical importance: power and responsibility, time management, definitions of identity and purpose, organizational arrangements, notions of territory and boundaries, communication and thinking. GLs know their own cultural norms, values and assumptions and can leverage cultural differences. This allows them to build unity in diversity when working across cultures.

9  Spiritual awakening
Living purposefully and mindfully.
GLs have an increased awareness of a connection with themselves, others, nature, with the immanent and transcendent “divine”. They find meaning in their lives discerning what is truly important. Living purposefully and mindfully, they are united with themselves and with others.

Wisdom combined with lightness allows them to appreciate and savour life, and to accept suffering that cannot be avoided with courage and dignity, building resilience.

GLs reflect on crucial questions eg: “What is truly important for me?” and “What is my legacy?” using meditation and artistic exploration to tap into deep unconscious aspirations. By cultivating an attitude of gratitude GLs welcome the beauties life offers and radiate this energy toward others.

10 Deep interconnectedness
Linking and synthesizing.
The traditional mechanistic worldview is insufficient to address today’s complexity. Leaders need to understand the emerging holographic organic worldview and complexity theory.

GLs move beyond fragmentation and over-specialization, and appreciate the interconnections and broader implications of everything they do. They are unsatisfied with superficial and instrumental human relations, striving to establish genuine human bonds and to be fully present.

Developing all these qualities represents a formidable challenge and an exciting lifelong learning journey. We can clearly not hope to master it all. What matters are our openness, curiosity, and commitment to engage ourselves in the process, as leaders and as coaches. This is how we can acquire the expertise, experience and credibility to help others develop similar qualities; also to continue to grow and help unleash more human potential. As modest as it might be, we will bring a lasting and meaningful contribution. 

Prof. Philippe Rosinski, MCC

Philippe is the author of the seminal bestseller Coaching Across Cultures. He is widely regarded as the pioneer of intercultural coaching. He has trained professional coaches and leaders across the world, helping them make the most of cultural differences. The first European to be designated Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, a Master of Science from Stanford University, Philippe is principal of Rosinski & Company and a professor in Tokyo (Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Business) and Prague (University of Economics).  His latest book Global Coaching has been described as “having moved the art and science of coaching to a new level”. 

See and for more information.


Please refer to the bibliography in my two books mentioned below.
Here is a list of further reading which I discovered after the publication of Global Coaching.  

Attali, Jacques. Pour une Economie Positive. Paris: Fayard, 2013.
Berry, Leonard, Ann Mirabito & William Baun. "What's the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?" Harvard Business Review, December 2010: 104-112.
Brown, Lester. Plan B 4.0. New York: Norton & Company, 2009.
Crowley, Chris, and Henry Lodge. Younger Next Year. New York: Workman, 2007.
Genelot, Dominique. Manager dans la Complexité (4ème édition). Paris: Insep Consulting, 2011.
Ignatius, Adi. "Captain Planet - Interview of Unilever CEO." Harvard Business Review, June 2012: 112-118.
Isaacson, Walter. Einstein. London: Simon & Schuster, 2007.
Moss Kanter, Rosabeth. "How Great Companies Think Differently." Harvard Business Review, November 2011: 66-78.
Rifkin, Jeremy. The Third Industrial Revolution. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Rosinski, Philippe. Coaching Across Cultures. London - Yarmouth, Maine: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2003.
—. Global Coaching. Boston - London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2010.
Sargut, Gökçe, and Rita Gunther McGrath. "Learning to Live with Complexity." Harvard Business Review, September 2011: 68-76.
Stiglitz, Joseph. The Price of Inequality. New York: Norton & Company, 2012.
Tertrais, Bruno. L'Apocalypse n'est pas pour Demain. Denoël, 2011.
Vaillant, George. The Wisdom of the Ego. Harvard University Press, 1993.