Culture plays a central role in an individual’s perception of leadership. According to Schein (2004), culture is described as the ideas, customers, and social behavior of a given people or society whereas leadership is described as the process of having dominance on groups operations to achieve objectives. Also, leadership happens when an individual can define as well as design the reality of other people. However, leadership does not rely only on a leader’s capability to influence the vision of other people but also on the building relations that fits the demands of cultures (Grint, 2010). For instance, my culture has greatly influenced my perception of leadership. Therefore, the paper will provide critical analysis of leadership and culture.
Cultural values and norms have helped in shaping leadership. In my view, aspects such as history, habits, language, and values cannot be minimized only to distinctive marks of some group of people, but they also have to be considered as aspects that significantly differentiate the cultural identity of every person in a territorial dimension. In regards to this, leadership and culture can be said to be relational (Thomas, 2008). Thus, it becomes relevant to attain good leadership by being an active leader who listens attentively to the followers’ decisions and needs. Beginning from any culture of a group of people, a leader can select the leadership attributes that match better with a given corporate situation.
My culture appreciates two types of leadership; ability to grant autonomy and delegate authority to subordinates. Our people normally empowerment from leadership, which can grant autonomy and also one that can delegate authority to subordinates. In regards to this, they respect leaders who are bold, confident, and passionate as well as a risk taker. It is imperative that my culture embraces a leadership that is decentralized to allow delegation of responsibilities and roles to subordinate members. To confirm the influence of the culture on organizations, I researched the types of leadership that most organizations around use. I determined that most organizational leaders are using leadership with the attributes described above.
Our culture that is characterized by the value of leaders who are bold and confident have assisted in shaping the kind of leadership. As a result of culture, leadership has been styled to meet and support the attributes. In this contemporary society, it is apparent that leadership are being transformed to support the cultural aspects of the people. For instance, since the political leaders are bold, confident, and risk-takers, it shows the kind of influence culture has on leadership. Besides, organizational leaders are selected based on their ability to communicate ideas, boldness, and confident.
Leadership styles are the most significant predictors of cultures. The types of leaders people select in a community reflects their cultural values and norms (Inkson & Thomas, 2011). For instance, a cultural setting where people believe in strong and bold leadership end up getting charismatic leadership as a result of cultural influence. Inspirational or charismatic leadership are perceived to offer people with a role model for a vision as well as ethical standards to live by (Roush & Atwater, 1992). Therefore, it is apparent that inspirational leadership is among the common type of leadership is most cultures around the world.
However, with various perspectives of leadership based on cultural aspects, I choose a perspective that leadership should involve an individual’s ability to delegate duties to subordinates. In regards to this, a leader should be able to assign the team duties to do to build their experience. An individual who is unable to delegate roles to team members is not considered a leader. Thus, the perspective is used to distinguish a leader from a non-leader (Aycan, 2008). However, the perspective can be used negatively by some people to over-work the team. It is important to note that even when assigning some roles to the team, they should also attend to some roles.
Every culture has its perspective on leadership. For instance, the US cultural aspects have a different perspective of leadership compared to the one in Arabian culture. Based on our cultural values and norms, we usually expect our leaders to delegate authority to subordinate staff (Steers, Sanchez-Runde & Nardon, 2010). In light of this, a delegation of authority does not mean loss of power but the ability to raise others in the field of leadership. Also, we mostly expect our leaders to be bold, confident, and risk takers. It means that we want a leader who can rebuke wrong and correct others. On the other hand, Arabs expect their leaders to have power. They usually respect and value their leaders so long as they are in power.
Similar to our perspective of leadership, French appreciate a strong charismatic leader. A strong charismatic leader is attributed to aspects, such as being bold and confident to face issues. According to our culture, we expect leaders to be confident, bold, and risk taker. Thus, since most of the attributes are associated with masculinity, most of the top leaders are always male in the two cultures (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). In regards to the value or belief theory, the values and beliefs that are held by people of a given culture affect the degree at which behaviors of individuals, groups, and organizations within cultures are enacted as well as the extent at which they are perceived as legitimate, acceptable and effective.
Culture influence the type of leadership adopted within a given setting. Since culture involves the way of life of people, it influences their perception of leadership. Our culture has significantly influenced the type of leadership our country has embraced. That said, our value for bold and strong leaders have contributed to charismatic leadership type experienced in the country. For instance, a culture that supports risk-taking will create a platform for an innovative type of leadership style. With this in mind, it is significant to identify if your leadership style is able to work within a particular culture. Therefore, leadership types experienced in most countries have been shaped by diverse cultures.
Aycan, Z. (2008). Cross-cultural approaches to leadership. Handbook of cross-cultural management research, 219-238.
Grint, K., (2010). Leadership: A concise introduction (Vol. 237). Oxford University Press.
Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations, software of the mind. Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival.
Inkson, K., & Thomas, D. (2011). Cultural Intelligence: Living and Working Globally. ReadHowYouWant. com.
Roush, P. E., & Atwater, L. (1992). Using MBTI to understand transformational leadership and self-perception accuracy. Military Psychology, 4(1), 17-34.
Schein, E. H. (2004). Organizational Culture and Leadership (Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series). Jossey Bass Incorporated.
Steers, R. M., Sanchez-Runde, C. J., & Nardon, L. (2010). Management across cultures: Challenges and strategies. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas, D. C., (2008). Cultural intelligence: People skills for global business. ReadHowYouWant. Com.