There are many different styles and views of leadership around the world. Just because one country leads a different way then another, it doesn’t make the other country wrong or does it? Although many countries have great leadership, there are some that don’t. There are many different leadership styles to approach and different cultures have diverse views on them. But what makes a good leader and what doesn’t? What country has the best leaders, which doesn’t? Who does it affect and why? These are some questions I want to address in this article on cultural leadership today in the 21st century. Determining the basic dimensions or characteristics of different cultures is the first step in being able to understand the relationships between them (Northouse, 2017 p.430).
Leadership is a universal phenomenon (Bass, 1997). That is, wherever there are people, there are leaders. There are many traits and characteristics that all great leaders’ possess. In 2000 Mayer, Salovey and Caruso claimed that emotional intelligence was important and that people who are more sensitive to their emotions and the impact of their emotions on others will be leaders who are more effective (Northouse,2017 p.28). Effective leadership is intended influence that creates change for the greater good. Many dimensions of leadership are perceived differently as traits: Intelligence, Self-confidence, Determination, Integrity, and Sociability or abilities such as; Problem-Solving, Social Judgement, and Knowledge. A diverse range of approaches to leadership emerged Within the 21st century: transformational, authentic, spiritual, and servant leadership along with new characteristics, such as: Passion, Behavior, Connectedness, Consistency, and Compassion.
Here are 6 countries with great leadership styles; Germany, France, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and USA. Germans style is hierarchy and consensus, which is basically a coaching approach. They strive for perfection in systems and procedures, and managers motivate staff by showing solidarity with them in procedures. They work long hours, obey the rules and expect obedience, and insist on fair play and the employees’ welcome close instructions (Sarosi, 2016). France leadership style is autocratic where decisions are generally made by the chief executive and orders are top-down. The highly organic nature of a French enterprise implies interdependence, mutual tolerance and teamwork, as well as faith in the appointed leader (Sarosi, 2016). Japan has a ringi-sei consensus, where their top executives have great power in conformity with Confucian hierarchy, but have little involvement in everyday affairs of the company (Sarosi, 2016). People work together to solve problems, and are always encourage to give ideas on improvements. When a worker makes a suggestion that saves money for the company they are giving a bonus. With this great incentive the Japanese are always looking for ways to improve production process. Spain uses human force, and are often autocratic and charismatic. However, they work less from logic than intuition and pride themselves on their personal influence on all their staff members, and managers often see their decisions as irreversible (Sarosi, 2016). Sweden concept of primus inter pares leadership, differs considerably from European models. It has fewer layers and the manger is generally accessible to staff and available for discussion. The USA uses Structured Individualism where you get things done, find short cuts to prosperity, and make money for oneself, one’s firm and shareholder. Managers are capable of teamwork and corporate spirit, but value individual freedom more than company welfare. Which means they can get fired if they make mistakes (Sarosi, 2016).
Although there are many great leaders in this world there are also some poor leaders as well that fall under the dark side of leadership. The dark side of leadership is the destructive and toxic side that a leader uses leadership for personal ends. They are known to leave their followers worse off than they found them, violating the basic human rights of others and playing to their basest fears (Northouse, 2017 p339). Lipman-Blumen identifies many dysfunctional personal characteristics destructive where leaders demonstrate lack of integrity, insatiable ambition, arrogance, and reckless disregard of their actions. A few destructive and toxic leadership countries include North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Burma, and a few Africa countries such as Nigeria, Sedan, Equatorial Guinea. North Korea represses its people more than any other living dictator. The US committee of Human rights estimates that there are around 150,000 Koreans performing forced labor in prison camps for political dissenters and their families (Frater,2007). Saudi Arabia is one of the only nations that hold no elections. Woman still have no equal rights in this country and they continue to engage in arbitrary arrest and torture. Burma has more child soldiers than any country and Burmese regime continues to kidnap citizens to force them to serve as porters for military in conflicts against non-Burmese ethic groups (Frater, 2007). Sudan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe have killed and tortured thousands for their own gain, while ripping their own people off leaving their countries in poverty for their own wealth and greed.
Even though our countries are separate, we humans as a race are affected by evil leadership. Our biggest threat being Kim Jong-Un with his nuclear weapons. Because our greatest leaders show compassion for their people and most people in general are compassionate, they show concern for other cultures that are treated unfairly. And anytime another country wants to step in and help, it affects their people by sending troops out in harms way, which affects their families and over all the economy. Since the USA is the largest melting pot of cultures in the world it is hard for us to stay out of other countries affairs specially since we conduct trades with most countries. The US practice many leadership styles, since our culture is a mix of cultures with a mix of views on leadership. Although many countries have an authentic leadership view the US is becoming more popular with transformational leadership, since it conducts business all over the world and It is appealing to the people to have a leader that provides a vision for the future. As you can see different cultures take on different leadership styles, which all work, but not all are justifiable and are straight up evil.
Northouse, P. (2016). Introduction to Leadership: concepts and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications Inc.
Northouse, P. (2017). Leadership Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications Inc.
Sarosi, B. (2016, February 23). 6 Leadership Styles Around the World to Build Effective Multinational Teams. Retrieved from https://www.crossculture.com/uncategorized/6-leadership-styles-around-the-world-to-build-effective-multinational-teams/
Bass, B. M. (1997). Does the transactional-transformational leadership paradigm transcend organizational and.. American Psychologist, 52(2), 130.
Frater, J. (2007, July 3). Top 10 Worst Living Dictators. Retrieved from http://listverse.com/2007/07/03/top-10-worst-living-dictators/