Skyline University Nigeria

Most Valued Skills and Competence for International Business Managers in 2023

The modern working environment has changed dramatically over the past decade and this has major implications for global and international managers. Most firms currently operate in an exceedingly volatile, highly competitive, complicated, and dynamic environment. The need for new markets, cost constraints, increasing competition, and a number of governmental measures made possible by modern information and communication technology have all contributed to the globalization of business (Sealy, Wehrmeyer, France, & Leach, 2010).

Such opportunities and pressures have created a serious challenge for multinational corporations. In addition to these external conditions, most organizations are also dealing with a number of global difficulties, such as those relating to talent flow, managing a diverse workforce, and a lack of specific competencies (Bucker & Poustma, 2010).

Multinational corporations have become one of the most important drivers of continuous globalization and constant developments in the global economy. Doing business globally, across borders in diversified environments they have given rise to and put an emphasis on such concepts as “global managers” and cross-cultural management.

Nowadays, international business managers have to deal with the difficulty of operating in a multicultural environment as a result of globalization, mergers, and acquisitions. Any function or role in international business entails collaboration with individuals from various nationalities and backgrounds. Understanding how to communicate across cultures is an absolutely essential ability, whether the person is a coworker, client, or consumer.

It necessitates a significant level of diplomacy, respect, and sensitivity. It also requires making an effort to understand learn and appreciate cultural differences when it comes to communication. It can be easier to avoid misconceptions and promote better workplace communication if you are aware of, for example, how individuals from different cultures interpret workplace conflict or something as straightforward as maintaining eye contact. And effective communication helps businesses. (In fact, studies contend that one of the main causes of project failure is a breakdown in communication.)

Building a strong network of connections outside of your native country is crucial if you want to engage in international business. Successful networking can lead to unexpected commercial opportunities abroad, and according to some reports, networking is now responsible for up to 80% of job placements. While online platforms like LinkedIn make it simpler to establish and maintain professional contacts abroad, excellent in-person networking abilities remain one of the most important traits for success in international business.

One practical strategy to meet like-minded individuals and expand your relationships is becoming an expert at “elevator pitching” and attending industry networking events. Naturally, networking skills take tact, diplomacy, and a listening ear, just like cross-cultural communication; keep in mind that you’re creating a relationship rather than just selling your services.

Building a network alone won’t be enough for success in international business; you also need to be able to get along with others. In the business world, it is essential to be able to cooperate and work together for the same goal. It necessitates modesty, allowing others to lead and share the spotlight when things go well. Collaborating with team members from different cultures is extremely advantageous in an international business environment.

First, it’s a chance for you to practice and improve your cross-cultural communication abilities. Secondly, it will introduce you to new perspectives and approaches to addressing challenging business issues. The most motivating and effective corporate leaders are frequently the best collaborators because they are aware of how communal intelligence may hasten company achievement.

Strong emotional intelligence is regarded as a crucial competency when it comes to conducting business internationally. This is so because it affects almost every facet of corporate communication. Emotionally intelligent people are in control and in control of their emotions, meaning they are able to adapt flexibly to change and react calmly in critical or stressful business situations.

To succeed in international business unequivocally demands resilience and mental toughness. Ever-changing business demands, especially in International Business careers, throw a unique challenge to the manager at an individual level. Work timings, mental health, working environments, personal goals, physical health, social expectations, and work timings across different time zones, all take a toll on the person manning the station. Be resilient to such things that come your way.

Setbacks and failures are also a fact in the business world, but defeat isn’t. This is where resilience comes into play. Resilience, which goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence, is a crucial quality for success because it enables you to rise to the unavoidable challenges of doing business globally, keep your motivation high, manage risks, and bounce back swiftly from hardship.


Sealy, I., Wehrmeyer, W., France, C., & Leach, M. (2016). Sustainable Development Management Systems in Global Business Organizations.

Bucker, J. & Poustma, E. (2010). How to Assess Global Management Competencies: An Investigation of Existing Instruments

Ms. Aisha Turaki Ibrahim is an Assistant Lecturer of the Department of Management, School of Arts, Management and Social Science, Skyline University Nigeria. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Business Management from Sheffield Hallam University (U.K) and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the American University of Nigeria (AUN).

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