How To Lead In An Environment With Multiple Cultures
If you wish to be the leader of a large group, you will need to learn how lead people who come from cultural backgrounds which are different from your own. Few modern companies can survive by working with people of one cultural group.
We live in a global world that is becoming more interconnected than ever before, and any leader who wishes to succeed will need to learn how to lead on a global scale. To do this requires you to respect and understand various cultures. Because we live in a fast paced world, learning about other cultures is something the successful leader will want to do within a short period of time.
If you fail to understand other cultures, it will be difficult for you to succeed as a leader. Each person you lead who comes from a different culture will have skills that they can add to your organization. Each culture will function on a different level. One some levels, people will behave in a manner that is based on their racial, religious, or national heritage. On a different level, they will be influenced by the drive to help the team succeed, and will want to follow the values of that team. The culture of the team is another level that must be taken into consideration.
To understand different cultures, there are a number of things you will want to look at. The first is symbols. For a company, a symbol will be logos or mission statements. For a person, a symbol will be defined in terms of religion, race, and cultural heritage. The next thing that must be taken into consideration is role models. Most people and groups will have role models that inspire them. A role model doesn’t have to be a person. It could be a mythical figure as well. In addition to role models, common language is also important. People who are members of a certain group will speak in a common way, and will use similar terms.
A good leader will want to understand the traditions and customs of those they lead. Certain rituals or events may be important to people to belong to specific cultural groups. An organization may also have similar events that are important. Different groups will have specific values that they find to be important. They will decide how certain things should be done, and many people will have different views on what they consider to be right or wrong behavior. If you want to be a good leader, you must understand these values in order to build the trust of those you lead.
This doesn’t mean that you need to know everything about every culture. However, you will want to be sensitive to cultures that are different from your own. It is not necessary to completely understand the values of any one culture. By knowing that some of your followers may have cultural views which are different from your own, this should allow you to be selective in the decisions you make. Being prejudiced can bring about terrible results for your organization. We live in a world where people of different cultures are working together more and more. To thrive in a world like this requires you to get rid of negative views or people who do not have the same cultural background as you.
If you want to look for a good historical example of a leader who successfully lead people with different cultural backgrounds, all you need to do is look at Hannibal. Hannibal was a military leader from Carthage who was able to build a powerful army that was composed of Africans, Spaniards, and other ethnic groups, and nearly conquered Rome after making a hazardous journey through the Alps. In addition to this, he would recruit many men from local tribes he came into contact with on his journey. To accomplish a feat like this, Hannibal had to be a leader who understood how to deal with different cultures. He did not let language or racial differences get in the way of his ultimate objective.
If you wish to lead people of different cultures, you will want to behave in the same manner. Don’t allow cultural differences to get in the way of your vision. Be sensitive to the needs of people who come from different cultural backgrounds, and lead in a manner that will allow everyone to respect you.