- Culture to Culture: Mission Trip Do’s and Dont’s
- Rules of the Game: Global Business Protocol
Nan Leaptrott is an international Miss Manners, an expert in corporate etiquette, teaching today’s professionals the dos and don’ts that can make or break business transactions in a global economy.
Nan Leaptrott offers business protocol with clients ranging from the CIA to the Fortune 100 elite to individual entrepreneurs.
The art of successful international business deals with playing and winning a game. She said that for an American business person to be successful, he must learn the game’s rules, but they change from country to country and culture to culture.
Leaptrott tells what these rules are and explains why and how they evolved.
Are you dividing the world’s cultures into three broad classifications? Tribal, collective, and pluralist? She outlines characteristics typical of each and, based on these characteristics, provides “player portraits” with whom Americans might come into contact.
She advises on everything from how to shake hands when a gift might be appropriate, international dining etiquette, and the importance of avoiding hand gestures to arranging a business introduction and whether to have presentation materials translated.
For the businessman in a hurry and hasn’t the time to immerse himself in the sociological background of culture before his meeting, she offers a quick reference guide with specific information about more than 65 countries summarized and arranged alphabetically.
She appeals to anyone traveling to another country or someone simply wanting a better understanding of different cultures worldwide.
She has served as an advisor to the diplomatic and private arenas and the multi-national corporate world. Her writings include regular columns for “Worldwide Business Practices Report.”
Leaptrott wrote, “A recent survey was done among the top Fortune 500 companies. It showed that 80 percent of the board presidents, vice presidents, and chairpersons had impeccable manners. They also were self-confident in all their encounters.
“When middle management was surveyed, that percentage dropped to 40 percent. And among the young, newly-hired executives, it was an appalling 12 percent.
“To be on the winning edge in the professional arena, it is essential to have business and social savvy. Boardrooms across corporate America demand it: Good business dictates it; Business social involvement decrees it.
“Every day, companies are weeding out those who lack this savvy. Many CEOs tell me they are not hiring professionals who have not mastered this new form of professional polish.”
When asked what good manners are, Leaptrott said, “It is undoubtedly more than knowing which fork to use. Good manners are knowing basic rules in a myriad of encounters. Just a few: when to make correct introductions and how to position yourself in a room full of strangers. Being self-confident and helping others to feel at ease are essential requirements.
“Our bad manners are nothing more than unskilled habits,” she said. “All habits are learned. Anything learned can be unlearned. There is no need for enlightened professionals to muddle through mediocrity. We must learn to position ourselves as powerful professionals.”
Leaptrott’s skills have impressed her clients. William E. Simon, former United States Treasurer, said, “When professionals are familiar with particular mores and customs, they will earn their client’s trust, avoid misunderstandings, and strengthen and expand business relationships.”
Dr. William Vincek, for GlaxoWellcome, Inc., said, “Nan’s workshop on global diversity is the most business-relevant training I’ve ever had as a worldwide director. She added value directly to the bottom line of global business negotiations.”
Books by Nan Leaptrott