Leadership Training: Are You Fostering Colonizers?

June 2, 2015 Rosetta Stone Enterprise and Education

Developmental assignments are a great way for organizations to develop and engage employees without investing in overly expensive expat assignments.In today’s globally-connected economy, international business is a prerequisite for many organizations. Executives are being sent around the world to open new markets and add revenue streams.

Are those executives diplomats or colonizers? Arturo Cardelus, Executive Vice President Worldwide of the Ferrero chocolate and candy empire, explains the difference in Rosetta Stone’s new user testimonial, “Leading from the Heart Through Language”.

“If you go to a country and you don’t speak their language, you are colonizing. Because you are there as a manager or director, and you are demanding they speak your language! This is never the right way to approach a group. You are a guest, not a colonizer! You are there in a completely new environment and you know nothing about what is going on. You must first show care and a desire to be a part of the environment. And the only way to do that is by learning the language and customs and culture of the place you are assigned to live.”

It is Mr. Cardelus’s sincere belief that his willingness to learn the language that is spoken in his new assignment not only allowed him to fit in socially with the native speakers, but that it also has helped him close many deals that would have otherwise been lost. Years ago, he was in charge of Middle Eastern operations for another company.

“Oh, but Arabic is a difficult language!” lamented the senior executive, who is proficient in Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Russian. “So hard! But I did my best, and even that limited use of Arabic opened so many doors for me! I was greeted in such a different way, with just a few words and phrases. Again, it’s all about respect. You are saying to the residents and citizens of that country, ‘Look, I have taken the effort and time to try your language. I respect you…’”

So how do your executives get to this point in their language skills? The solution is easier than you think. Mr. Cardelus, along with his subordinates, use Rosetta Stone for their language training. “I use Rosetta Stone products,” he says enthusiastically. “And I have never found a better method to learn languages!”

With Rosetta Stone, language training is completed on the student’s schedule—even in the busy schedule of the globe-trotting executive. The curriculum is engaging and goes a lot further than just vocabulary acquisition. It’s as close to an immersion program as you will get without actually going to the country!

To hear more about what Arturo had to say about his experience in language training, read our latest user testimonial.

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