The Best Leadership Qualities Are...

What do you consider to be good leadership qualities?

Honesty? Transparency? Confidence? Integrity?

What kind of behavior do you expect?

Approachable? Direct communication? Able to delegate? Calm?

It probably won’t surprise you that what a good leader looks like depends on your cultural perspective. “Leadership” is a term that many people assume is devoid of culture, yet culture is of the utmost importance.

For example:

  • We want someone to be approachable, and that would work in the U.S. In other cultures, though, employees might like to work in teams and figure out things for themselves. Even if the boss’ door is always open, they'd prefer to not bother the boss.
  • We say we want our boss to be able to delegate work, but if I’m from a culture that's more hierarchical, I expect more direction from my boss, to the point that someone from another culture may view it as micro-managing.
  • If we say we want confidence, what does that look like, and how do we judge people who don't act confident in the way we define confident? (e.g., "She's not leadership material! She doesn't speak up in meetings.")

Different cultures have different ideas about what leadership looks like. No way is right or wrong when viewed within context. Yet, we judge a leader from another culture to be incompetent, simply because we aren’t used to that leadership style. How many good leaders are we missing out on because our definition of “leader” is too rigid?

My idea of a good leader? A good leader is observant, flexible, and open to different ways of doing things.

Join me on social media and let me know - What’s your definition?

 

© 2017, Susan McCuistion

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