Nicolas Krafft, Former L’Oreal Executive, Discusses Global Management

Nicolas Krafft L'Oreal

For more than two decades, Former L’Oreal Executive Nicolas Krafft spent his time traveling across the world. Traveling and working internationally as a leader in a multinational company allowed Krafft to experience a global perspective, learning to fulfill the needs of clients regardless of their backgrounds, geographical locations, or unique expectations.

In today’s world, corporate leadership must develop from a global perspective, growing to meet and manage challenges as they arise. 

Today, we are going to examine a few of the ways that Nicolas Krafft developed his skills as a global manager while discussing how they can be adopted here at home. With the right approach to embracing the nuances of international business, Krafft believes that success is waiting.

Approaching Management at a Global Level With Nicolas Krafft

While traveling for work is part and parcel of the global experience, there are unique and varied obstacles that manifest as a result. One of the leading obstacles that must be overcome is the language barrier, a hurdle that can hamper open and honest communication while diminishing our ability to connect with one another. For Nicolas Krafft, one of the universal languages is leadership. Krafft says, “The role of a manager is to provide a framework, validate a roadmap, and ensure consistency.”

Depending on the contextual background of an international office, workplace standards may vary widely from one location to the next. From social norms to traditional decision-making standards, it is vital to understand how an office operates if it is outside of your experience. To minimize potential disruption from societal shock or new cultural norms, take time to educate yourself on the customs of the area that you will be working in.

Former L’Oreal Executive Nicolas Krafft goes on to explain that it is important to humble ourselves as leaders and to ‘un-boss’ in front of local employees. Krafft admits that “it is also refreshing. When I was working in emerging markets, it felt like everything was possible.”

Understand Different Regions and Cultures

Global expansions provide new networking opportunities as well as the chance to integrate within a new culture. For companies working in the beauty and wellness field, such as L’Oreal, understanding the diversity of beauty standards was important to Krafft. Krafft stated, “If you live in a cold climate such as Russia, your skin will have different needs than if you lived in a more humid city.”

Understanding the operational norms of a region can help to better challenge a business’s perspective, forcing them to meet the needs of the specified region. Krafft goes on to admit that there is no real substitute for the actual boots-on-the-ground experience. At some point, we just have to live it. Krafft stated in an interview with the EconoTimes, “When it comes to challenging your perspective, there is no substitute for experience.”

Nicolas Krafft on How to Best Spend More Time Abroad

As a high-level executive, Nicolas Krafft was able to spend much of his time on the job while traveling around the world. One of the most valuable things Krafft gained during his time in this executive position was the chance to embrace entirely new living conditions.

Krafft stated of his chance to live in and explore new cultures for business, “has allowed me to go beyond beauty. It [arouses] curiosity and is certainly one of the reasons I have stayed with the same company for over 20 years.”

Even though Krafft is uniquely focused on understanding the differences that separate us, his work as a former executive at L’Oreal would lead him to also compare what makes us the same. Krafft underscores the fact that food is a unifying concept no matter where you go in the world. Krafft states of culinary tradition, that it “tells you a lot about a country, its culture, climate, and social connections.”

Krafft has spent more than two decades traveling abroad, visiting 60 countries while living in eight of them. As he has said in his own words, “Living abroad has been an extraordinary journey for me.”

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