I recently have had the privilege of getting to know several leaders who come from different ethnic cultures. Our organization has identified a group of current leaders who have the qualities and potential to lead at ten times their current scope of leadership.
For the next two years they will be involved in leadership development training called the Senior Leader Initiative (SLI). I have played a small part by giving some of these leaders feedback in areas of Emotional Intelligence (EQi), 360 Reviews and StrengthsFinder (using CoreClarity).
This process has raised some questions for me.
What does leadership look like from culture to culture?
Do leadership qualities differ in other cultures?
Do assessments take those differences into consideration?
I recently read Gilbert Kingsley’s blog. He says,
“It would be a mistake to think that what looks like leadership in one culture will necessarily be leadership in another ethnic culture. And a greater mistake would be to miss what that ethnic community values as leadership.”
During a previous Senior Leadership Initiative, several staff (Renee Begay, Stuart Dodds, Shawn Faulkner, Marc Henkel, David Marshall, and Tony Wee) did some really good work on ethnic diversity and leadership. I suggest you download and read “Top 10 Leadership Qualities of Ethnic Minorities.”
Here is one example of what you will find:
Christina Magdalenda and Lucas Lopez in Destino listed these ten leadership qualities in their Hispanic culture:
- Not self seeking but sacrificial for the benefit of those being led
- Invites and considers the concerns of the familia and includes them in the decision making process
- Perseverance in face of adversity
- Celebrate the success of our familia/people, encouraging them to greatness
- Teachable (able to learn from those who have gone before them in leadership)
- Transparency (able to open up once trust is established)
- Forgiving (Not easily offended)
- Learner – Values process over results and efficiency
How are these qualities similar to those in your own culture?
How are they different?
We increasingly work with leaders from ethnically diverse cultures, so why not download this helpful 4-page resource, “Top 10 Leadership Qualities of Ethnic Minorities.” It has helped give me more awareness of the different leadership qualities in cultures other than my own. There are great resources and links for developing cultural intelligence which helps us be more effective leaders wherever we serve.
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