Today’s global economy represents a volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous environment for firms to sustain a profitable international growth. Organizations must continuously develop a portfolio of leaders ready to push forward growth strategies. Despite this challenge, corporations often fail to offer the right learning organizational framework to their top executives proposing too often standardized models. Many firms are acknowledging the urgent need to transform their learning organizations, strategies and to rethink how to learn to lead. This research is aiming to develop a deep understanding of how global executives are developing, adjusting competencies to the unpredictable needs initiated by their different expatriations. The methodology used is highly inductive and interpretivist. The qualitative sample is composed of 25 top executives, expatriated in MNC’s subsidiaries, men and women. The research objectives are to generate subjective knowledge grounded in the way global executives experience their development during expatriation, translated into a model “à la Gioia” and to provide guidelines for practitioners. We found out that the concept of cognition and self was decisive for an effective development process abroad, this combined with an ongoing willingness and ability to learn, leading to the generation of a sort of “know how” (practical intelligence). We also give two recommendations to corporations; one on the role of HR corporate in charge, advising four key behaviours to improve efficiency: the SCSC’s (Strategic, Credible, Supportive, Considerate) and the second on the top executives follow-up, more precisely we recommend the creation of an expat ID profile; “the expat ID” that will help enhance the global talent management of such an individual.