Leadership in a Multicultural Setting
As new technologies in transportation, telecommunication, and social media increase cross-border relationships, it is now more important than ever for organizations to recruit, train, and retain multicultural leaders who can skillfully navigate through the opportunities and challenges of a connected world (Luthans & Doh, 2014). Leadership by definition is the action of unifying people to achieve a common goal by communicating, guiding, and motivating them. In multicultural leadership, a person experiences a broad exposure to different cultures to understand their unique values (Northouse, 2015). Such a view of the world enables a leader to have insight on how to reach clients, drive the firm’s performance outside one’s hometown, and inspire employees who are from diverse cultural backgrounds.
In a multicultural setting, I will be considerate of the unique perception, experiences, and beliefs of people. Therefore, I will appreciate the cultural gaps in the team and interact with each member in a manner that respects his/her culture. For example, in some parts of the world, it is unacceptable for people of opposite sex to shake hands (Moodian, 2009). In this regard, I will be tolerant of different opinions and cultures.
Additionally, I will appreciate the diverse traditions, languages, and religions in the world. Consequently, I will be tolerant of people who express themselves differently than I do because they come from a dispersed environment. To ensure the organization can easily interact with individuals who are from different cultures, I will have multicultural employees in my company. Since these persons will have different experiences, their diversity will enable the firm to tolerate the unique global cultures.
To become relevant and influential individuals in the current interconnected world, all heads of organizations must aim at becoming multicultural leaders. Accordingly, they must be willing to immerse themselves in different cultures to understand their specific context. Only through knowing other cultures can a leader identify their variations and determine the specific strategy to use in each region.
Luthans, F., & Doh, J. (2014). International management: Culture, strategy, and behavior (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Moodian, M. (Eds.). (2009). Leadership and intercultural competence. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Northouse, P. (2015). Leadership theory and practice (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.