Cross-Cultural Leadership

Establish a shared corporate culture that spans national cultures.

© iStockphoto/daveedwards

Few successful businesses now work with people from only one culture. At the shallowest level, most Western businesses (even those based in one location) employ people from many cultural backgrounds. At a deeper level, the impact of globalization and cost differences between regions means that many companies either outsource parts of their business or are outsourcing partners for other businesses.

Because of this, leaders in the 21st Century need to be adept at managing people of different cultures. They need to be able to grasp the essence of each culture quickly, because culture is so important in shaping customer or employee behavior. And leaders must learn to shape culture (at least that in their own organizations) so that it is positive, and aligned with the direction the organization is taking.

To do any less means that they will fail to get the best from the individuals with whom they work, and will not be able to draw on the strengths that different cultures offer.

Culture operates at different levels. At one level, individuals are shaped by their ethnic, racial, religious and national backgrounds. At another, they are influenced by the standards, ideals values and experience of their teams. And at yet another level, they are shaped by the culture of their organization. Culture is complex and multi-faceted.

However, you can start to understand the cultures you are exposed to by looking at the following things:

Access the Full Article

This resource is only available in full within the Mind Tools Club.

Learn More and Join Today

Already a Club member? Log in to finish this article.
Add this article to My Learning Plan

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Your Score
Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.

Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.

Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.