Jaap Boonstra Visiting Professor, Department of People Management & OrganizationResearch published in Harvard Deusto Business Review International leadership means interacting and communicating across national borders, adopting new habits, and evaluating and understanding unfamiliar situations and decision-making processes. Internationally successful leaders and managers know themselves and their own values, are sensitive to what is happening, and are curious about the values of others. They have a feeling for cultural nuances and know what they need to avoid doing in order not to embarrass the other party. They are also good at interacting and are focused on collaboration. The challenge for global leaders, managers and professionals lies in the development of a relationship of trust and involving others in decision-making and company development, fully recognizing that people from different countries have different qualities, expectations and convictions. To be a successful leader in a multicultural and globally aware organization, five dimensions are essential: 1) value-driven leadership, 2) adaptive leadership, 3) meaningful leadership, 4) social leadership and 5) confident leadership. 1) Value-driven leaders have a profound understanding of the fundamental values in our global community and a feeling for people's social and basic human needs. Through their understanding of and feel for what is happening around them, they express the values the organization stands for. Value-driven leaders are unambiguous with regard to integrity and human worth and explicit with regard to unacceptable behavior. They can cope with ethical dilemmas and dare to make choices accordingly. They inspire and motivate others by sharing a future vision rooted in compelling and shared core values. Value-driven leaders are unambiguous with regard to integrity and human worth and explicit with regard to unacceptable behavior 2) Adaptive leadership has to do with how sensitive you are as a leader to cultural variations and how you cope with situations that are new and ambiguous. Adaptive leadership demands a global view and having an open attitude to other cultures. Adaptive leaders are aware of the developments around them and the needs of customers and other interested parties. They see what the competition is doing, what possibilities new technology offers and where opportunities are to be seized. It is important to be sensitive and cope with strategic dilemmas and cultural tensions, and furthermore to balance consistency in values with flexibility in behavior. 3) Meaningful leaders have a long-term perspective on the business idea and the societal significance of their organization. A meaningful leader interprets unclear events, giving meaning to the world around us. Through collectively creating a vision of the future and sharing their stories, such leaders create shared understandings. Skill is required in order to strike a balance between stability and renewal and to foster commitment to lasting changes and to the creation of value for customers and other interested parties. Meaningful leaders have a long-term perspective on the business idea and the societal significance of their organization 4) Social leadership requires leaders to value cultural diversity and to employ the tension between cultural values for strategic and cultural renewal. Social leadership has to do with the quality of teamwork in multicultural and virtual teams. Present-day and future leaders are team players who advance complex collaborative processes in which people share knowledge, work together and achieve results. The challenge is to understand, surmount and exploit cultural differences in order to achieve results. 5) Confident leadership means being aware of how others see you and how you yourself view reality. Confident leaders are conscious of their own emotions, perceptions and cultural biases, as well as the emotions and perceptions of others. They know the source of their identity and know themselves and their motivations. They know their weaknesses and strengths. Confident leaders are conscious of their own emotions, perceptions and cultural biases, as well as the emotions and perceptions of others Self-aware leaders are approachable, sincere and candid, and they never shun anyone. This approach makes undercurrents and emotions open for discussion. These five leadership qualities are not personality traits; they can be developed through an attitude based on curiosity, humility, self-reflection and relating to people with other cultural values. About the authorJaap Boonstra is Professor at ESADE Business School and Professor at Vienna University for economy and business. His research focuses on transformational leadership, barriers to organizational change and innovation, power dynamics in organizational change, and sustainable development of organizations. Prof. Jaap has published more than two hundred articles on technological and organizational innovation, management of organizational change, organizational learning, politics in organizations, strategic decision-making and transformational change in the service sector and public administration. You may also like: 8 key game strategies to embrace change in organizations

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5 leadership traits to succeed in multicultural organizations

12/2018

Jaap Boonstra


Visiting Professor, Department of People Management & Organization

Research published in Harvard Deusto Business Review



International leadership means interacting and communicating across national borders, adopting new habits, and evaluating and understanding unfamiliar situations and decision-making processes.


Internationally successful leaders and managers know themselves and their own values, are sensitive to what is happening, and are curious about the values of others. They have a feeling for cultural nuances and know what they need to avoid doing in order not to embarrass the other party. They are also good at interacting and are focused on collaboration.


The challenge for global leaders, managers and professionals lies in the development of a relationship of trust and involving others in decision-making and company development, fully recognizing that people from different countries have different qualities, expectations and convictions.


To be a successful leader in a multicultural and globally aware organization, five dimensions are essential: 1) value-driven leadership, 2) adaptive leadership, 3) meaningful leadership, 4) social leadership and 5) confident leadership.





1) Value-driven leaders have a profound understanding of the fundamental values in our global community and a feeling for people's social and basic human needs. Through their understanding of and feel for what is happening around them, they express the values the organization stands for.


Value-driven leaders are unambiguous with regard to integrity and human worth and explicit with regard to unacceptable behavior. They can cope with ethical dilemmas and dare to make choices accordingly. They inspire and motivate others by sharing a future vision rooted in compelling and shared core values.


Value-driven leaders are unambiguous with regard to integrity and human worth and explicit with regard to unacceptable behavior


2) Adaptive leadership has to do with how sensitive you are as a leader to cultural variations and how you cope with situations that are new and ambiguous. Adaptive leadership demands a global view and having an open attitude to other cultures.


Adaptive leaders are aware of the developments around them and the needs of customers and other interested parties. They see what the competition is doing, what possibilities new technology offers and where opportunities are to be seized. It is important to be sensitive and cope with strategic dilemmas and cultural tensions, and furthermore to balance consistency in values with flexibility in behavior.


3) Meaningful leaders have a long-term perspective on the business idea and the societal significance of their organization. A meaningful leader interprets unclear events, giving meaning to the world around us.


Through collectively creating a vision of the future and sharing their stories, such leaders create shared understandings. Skill is required in order to strike a balance between stability and renewal and to foster commitment to lasting changes and to the creation of value for customers and other interested parties.


Meaningful leaders have a long-term perspective on the business idea and the societal significance of their organization


4) Social leadership requires leaders to value cultural diversity and to employ the tension between cultural values for strategic and cultural renewal. Social leadership has to do with the quality of teamwork in multicultural and virtual teams.


Present-day and future leaders are team players who advance complex collaborative processes in which people share knowledge, work together and achieve results. The challenge is to understand, surmount and exploit cultural differences in order to achieve results.


5) Confident leadership means being aware of how others see you and how you yourself view reality. Confident leaders are conscious of their own emotions, perceptions and cultural biases, as well as the emotions and perceptions of others. They know the source of their identity and know themselves and their motivations. They know their weaknesses and strengths.


Confident leaders are conscious of their own emotions, perceptions and cultural biases, as well as the emotions and perceptions of others


Self-aware leaders are approachable, sincere and candid, and they never shun anyone. This approach makes undercurrents and emotions open for discussion.


These five leadership qualities are not personality traits; they can be developed through an attitude based on curiosity, humility, self-reflection and relating to people with other cultural values.



About the author


Jaap Boonstra is Professor at ESADE Business School and Professor at Vienna University for economy and business. His research focuses on transformational leadership, barriers to organizational change and innovation, power dynamics in organizational change, and sustainable development of organizations. Prof. Jaap has published more than two hundred articles on technological and organizational innovation, management of organizational change, organizational learning, politics in organizations, strategic decision-making and transformational change in the service sector and public administration.


You may also like: 8 key game strategies to embrace change in organizations

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Leadership and organizational culture based on sustainable innovational values: Portraying the case of the Global Alliance for Banking Based on Values (GABV)
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06/2018
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40 p.
Perspectivas sobre el liderazgo
Boonstra, Jaap
Harvard Deusto Business Review
N 282, 10/2018, p. 8 - 21
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