Alder Koten Discusses Five Ways to Effective Multicultural Leadership

Leadership approaches depend on the dominant culture or confluence of cultures and subcultures. According to leadership expert Juana Bordas, in today’s globalized world, multicultural leadership combines influences, practices, and values of the diverse culture in a respectful and productive manner. It also requires awareness on various situations, contexts, and assumptions. To deal with the challenges in managing a multicultural organization, a leader must increase their ability to appreciate differences and adopt inclusive approaches. They must also constantly remind themselves that there are universal values that most cultures appreciate.

Such values, for instance, are politeness, kindness, honorable, and accepting of others. However, “universality” is relative across cultures and subcultures, which explains the term “cultural relativity.” For instance, the notion of transparency in western culture is expressed with openness, directness, and straightforwardness. In eastern culture, transparency is of various degrees. Some eastern cultures are more transparent; others are less. And less-than-transparent attitude is not necessary a bad thing. Often, it is considered more “polite” to be discreet and less direct. In Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cultures, for instance, it is important to “save face” whenever there is a problem by not pointing directly to the party causing it.

A leader would know that their leadership is working when the multicultural followers perform efficiently and productively. Exercise these five things confidently and make them your second nature. (view the full article at


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