Four Lessons I’ve Learned From Managing a Global Workforce

As a founder and co-CEO of TransPerfect, one of the most rewarding parts of my job is coaching the art of effective management. Often employees are promoted to a managerial position because they’ve performed well in their previous position; however, the skills that allow someone to succeed — to get promoted and to assume a leadership role — are not necessarily the same set of skills they will need to succeed in management. Therefore, coaching management, beyond being fun and rewarding, is absolutely essential to creating a corporate environment that achieves sustained, profitable growth. Through my past experiences, I have created a list of “4 Lessons I’ve Learned From Managing a Global Workforce,” which I have included below

Establish your Culture as a Meritocracy

As the old saying goes: in order to manage it, you need to measure it. Good managers need to implement a system in which employees are put in power positions based on their abilities, and not on other underlying factors such as favoritism. Measurement may appear obvious in sales-oriented roles, but it is important to make a system of measurement that defines success in each and every role and functional area of the company.

Embrace a “Player-Coach” Management Model

I’ve learned that in business, embracing a player-coach management model is incredibly valuable, as leaders must “walk the walk” before they “talk the talk,” so to speak. For example, managers should be responsible for not only their team’s individual and collective numbers, but also their own. Many successful managers start at entry level positions and have moved up by hitting their specific and measurable targets, continually demonstrating their own ability to be successful.


Intrapreneurship, or the implementation of entrepreneurial skills and initiatives within an organization, is a key part of successfully managing employees. Senior managers should strive to create a scalable platform by which managers at all levels are empowered to “build their own business” within the firm. Choosing the correct people, giving them the resources and processes they need to succeed through investing in training and development, and then empowering them to build their own business within the firm will play a huge role in the career development of the next generation of company leaders.

Take a Personal and Vested Interest in the Success of Your People

In the business world, there are few greater and more meaningful responsibilities than managing other people. You truly hold someone else’s career in your hands, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly. You are charged with overseeing their future, for better or worse. People don’t quit a company – they quit a boss. To an employee on your team, you are the company; their experiences and interactions with you will largely define success or failure in their job. This is not something you can fake – if you are only in it for yourself, your employees will know.

About Phil Shawe

Phil Shawe is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of TransPerfect, the world’s largest privately held provider of language services and translation-related technologies. Under Shawe’s leadership, TransPerfect has become an industry leader in technology and innovation, and has received numerous awards and distinctions, including being named to the Inc 5000 list seven times and being recognized by Deloitte’s “Technology Fast 50” program. Shawe has been named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and to the “40 Under 40” list by Crain’s New York Business, and is a member of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY). In 2016, in recognition of his support of the fight to end cancer, The V Foundation for Cancer Research named Shawe to its Presidents Club. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Sciences (BS) degree from the University of Florida where he triple majored in Finance, Marketing and Risk Management.

About TransPerfect

With annual revenues of more than $500 million, TransPerfect is the world’s largest privately held provider of language services and technology solutions. From offices in 90 cities on six continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in 170+ languages to clients worldwide. More than 3,000 global organizations employ TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® Product Suite to simplify management of multilingual content. With an unparalleled commitment to quality and client service, TransPerfect is fully ISO 9001 and EN 15038 certified. TransPerfect has global headquarters in New York, with regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at


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