Most of what is written about leadership has been written by western scholars and practitionersâ€”mostly from the United States. Thus, what we have studied in this module so far reflects western assumptions and values about how to improve leadership performance.
But leadership quality, we know, is mostly about perception. If the followers perceive that a person is a leader, that person will be treated with respect and the followers will grant him the power and authority to guide their actions. These perceptions can vary across cultures, and successful global leaders know that leadership is viewed differently in different cultures and modify their behaviors to align with culturally diverse expectations. This is what is called Cultural Intelligence.
The following reading discusses the importance of cultural awareness in increasing organizational effectiveness:
Oâ€™Reilly, C. (2013). Why is cultural intelligence important? Retrieved from http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/topic/soft-skills/why-cultuiral-intelligence-important/181942
In this exercise, there are two sets of quizzes (A & B) that you will participate in.
- Select either the Cross Cultural Work Scenarios or Working Globally Across Cultures quiz from http://www.commisceo-global.com/quizzes/cultural-awareness-quizzes?view=qcategory&cat_id=39
- Choose any one of the country quizzes at http://www.commisceo-global.com/quizzes/cultural-awareness-quizzes?view=qcategory&cat_id=41 that looks interesting to you.
After completing the quizzes, address the following questions in a 3-page essay:
- Which quizzes did you take?
- Include your actual results in an Appendix at the end of your paper.
- Were you surprised at your score?
- What strengths do you think you have in intercultural awareness?
- What weaknesses are you able to identify?
- If there were gaps between your assessment results and your own thoughts about your level of cultural awareness, why do these gaps exist?
- Create a plan of specific, concrete actions you can take to build on your strengths and improve areas of weakness so that you improve your cultural awareness.
- Why is it important for managers to increase their levels of cultural awareness?