In our increasingly interconnected world, today’s CEOs and business leaders are being tasked with doing more than ever. Nicolas Krafft is the Swiss-born former Marketing Director for L’Oreal. As a former executive with L’Oreal, Krafft was dispatched across the world to help develop the L’Oreal brand while connecting with business leaders from other nations.
Throughout two decades of travel, Krafft would represent his multinational company while building a local understanding of cultural expectations, beauty, and geographical information. One of the most important elements of his success in these global adventures has been his ability to immerse himself within the work.
Let’s take a closer look at how Krafft is helping to guide today’s global leaders as they become the business stars of tomorrow.
Unique Challenges Manifest in Global Markets
To find success and prosperity as a global manager, it is important to understand the obstacles laid out before us. Nicolas Krafft understands that embracing these nuances can make tasks more achievable, providing paths forward that might not otherwise manifest.
One of the largest obstacles that global leaders must overcome is language, a serious hurdle that can alienate and alter the efficacy of communication between team leaders and their teams. As verbal communication scratches at the surface of how information is exchanged, global managers must also learn how to appeal in-person to their roster, quickly embodying a professional and social approach that best fits the environment.
Nicolas Krafft says of global management challenges, “The role of a manager is to provide a framework, validate a roadmap, and ensure consistency.”
To best ensure consistency within an office, international managers have to step back from their original perspective. Krafft suggests, “It forces you to be humble, and un-boss to let the local experts make the right decision. But it is also refreshing.”
Engaging With Your Local Region
Integrating into local markets as a high-level professional must begin by exploring the region itself to understand how it impacts the industry. As a former executive at L’Oreal, Nicolas Krafft was uniquely focused on beauty and wellness. In order to properly do his job, Krafft had to familiarize himself with the concepts of beauty within each area.
Krafft states, “In countries such as Brazil, you have a high diversity of beauty standards. There is a broad range of ethnicities, skin types, hair colors, and textures.”
In addition to understanding the contextual beauty differences between regions, it is also vital to understand the very conditions of the climate itself. Brazilian consumers, for example, will have to acclimate to warm weather – thus changing some of the cultural beauty norms. For L’oreal, as an executive, understanding how this could impact the business was vital.
Ultimately, Krafft suggests, “When it comes to challenging your perspective, there is no substitute for experience.”
Make a Point to Travel
Working in any international field will require high-level executives to travel around the world for work. Krafft understands that spending time in these nations while integrating within cultural norms can help to build a better business. Nicolas Krafft goes on to point out that integrating in different cultures has allowed him to embrace the themes that exist within them, pointing to food in particular.
Krafft says of food and culture, “They tell you a lot about a country, its culture, climate, and social connections.”
As a former executive at L’Oreal, Nicolas Krafft spent time in 60 countries for work and relaxation. Krafft would spend time living in eight countries. Krafft says, “Living abroad has been an extraordinary journey for me.”