Diversity and Leadership
Leadership and diversity is the approach that recognizes the fact that people and culture are different. It bases to develop strategies and processes that will work for most members of the team or organization. In this regard, I believe that the prototype leader is the head of the company who is free from cultural “barriers” and dependence on nationality. He/she has as fully as possible to take into account the interests of different cultures. The leader of the international level should motivate employees to achieve results by increasing their awareness in the perception of the importance of the designated purpose of the company, giving them the ability to combine their personal interests with a common goal, creating an atmosphere trust and mutual respect, contributing to their personal development, and taking into account their cultural characteristics.
For employees of the companies that have diversified collective, in turn, it is extremely important to have an equal chance of career promotion without any dependence of cultural identity. So, for most employees, the opportunity to move up the career ladder is one of the strongest motivators to be highly productive and efficient worker. This also contributes to satisfaction and lower levels of conformity in the team, and in addition, a reserve to increase the effectiveness of multicultural team as a whole.
The main things that I have learnt about diversity and leadership are connected with the understanding of the fact that people control the environment in the organization, changing and flexibility is a key for success, and the fact that an individual believes that ideas are coming ahead of group goals. These three things give general understanding of effective leadership in a diversified workforce. Therefore, diversity is a key for successful company’s development since a big range of ideas, solutions, creativity depends on it.
An essential quality of a leader is the ability to communicate. A leader knows how to communicate. Communication is a tool that is necessary for everyone who wants to achieve success. Without communication, there will be nothing. The man who does not know how to communicate, who is not able to express his/her ideas and communicate with people in such a way that others understand him/her, will not be able to lead people and inspire them. Most people say that they have no problems with communication. When one meets a person who is not aware of the ethics of speech, interrupts the conversation and argues, one decides to help him/her and recommend a course in communication. In return, the person who recommended a course in communication will hear that he/she has no problem with communication.
Such person can sincerely believe that his/her communication is all right. But why then no one wants to hear him/her? If people listen to a person out of courtesy, it does not mean that he/she is able to communicate. Have you ever met people who were compulsively talking, unaware that lost you as a listener? You have long been thinking of something else and only pretended to listen to it. Is it familiar to you? The point here is not about you and the narrator who does not understand that communication. It is a mutual exchange of ideas, not a one-way flow. When does one know that he/she can communicate? When the listener is interested in the conversation, if a person has a problem with people, check whether he/she knows how to communicate. Remember that talk and communication is not the same thing.
This is the way how I see the communication part of leadership skills that are necessary to have. I met people that were formal leaders because of the chair or position where they are sitting. However, they were not informal leaders, and everybody talked with them because of politeness. Therefore, communication skills are important for a leader no matter in what organization he/she is working.
The important ability for any leader is the ability to adapt from one situation to another while maintaining the utmost tranquility. A true leader is obliged to consider any changes as additional features. One of the most important skills that should be developed is adaptability or inclusion.
The development of globalization inevitably leads to the fact that leaders of the future will have to operate in a multicultural environment, implying a diversity of approaches to the management and production of personal behavior and values, relationships, race, and gender. They must be aware of not only economic and legal differences, but also of social and motivational differences existing in the workplace worldwide. All employees of the company meet with colleagues, customers, and geographically dispersed multinational team of employees. Therefore, they should have knowledge of cultural differences and how to work together and find common ground with people with diverse cultural foundations. Global leadership is focused on ways to manage, empower and inspire cultural diversity.
There are many new things I have understood about leadership and diversity. However, the main one is that the right human resource management can change minuses for pluses, disadvantages for advantages, and create effectiveness and efficiency. I have opened the fact that diversity is not only between women and men, Jew and Muslim, Chinese and European, young and old, but it is the diversity of every individual: his/her personal characteristics, skills, etc. Thus, it is the main thing that a leader has to focus on with the aim to help people in realization that everyone can be the best and be able to rely on every team member no matter how different he/she is. I strongly believe that the key to organizational success is its diverse personnel. I think so, because I am sure that any organization and/or team needs different people, =such as thinkers, doers, organizers, dreamers, etc. Only with such an approach can a company reach its goals effectively and efficiently, create unique competitive advantage and make the organization a leader. Thus, I am sure that the leadership of diversity needs a special style of leader’s behavior, for example a leader-harmonizer.
A leader-harmonizer builds its relations with team members on an emotionally neutral basis within an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, which suggests a strong relationship between the leader and team members. Each, in turn, calculates each other. A leader-harmonizer should be capable of understanding, practical understanding, harmonization of cross-cultural differences, and achieving synergies.
A model of harmonizing leadership viewed from the perspective of improving the efficiency of the organizational and cross-cultural interaction requires three components: a leader that has certain leadership skills, followers, and the situation in which the leader and members of the team interact collectively. Their intersection gives the optimum combination of these groups of factors necessary for the leader-harmonizer. This is the fact that I am sure is the most significant in the leadership and diversity.
Many things that I have noticed I understood with the help of my personal experience of being a team member. However, some of conclusions were made during overseeing how people interact in the collective and in the team. As a team member, I have understood why it is so necessary to have diverse people in a team. For example, if a group of team builders try to work, it will obviously fail, because everyone will be trying to create a team but not to reach a goal. Failures of most team projects occur because of ineffective leading and group creation. Therefore, I am sure that the essence of leadership of diversity is not in the picturing of people of different race, age, sex, but in uniqueness of every individual. Only with the acceptance of other people’s distinctiveness, the team as a whole will succeed.
The team is when several people are performing each role, and the amount of the effect of their work exceeds the effect of each individual. That is a synergistic effect that occurs when creating the right team. The competence of participants in their individual tasks is also an important point. Such conclusion that I have made during learning will help me as a leader to create and develop an effective diversified team, which will obviously succeed. Also, I think that communication skills and the ability to find common language with whole subordinates will impress employees in its positive nature. By finding a common language, you will be able to motivate them for training and skills development. As a leader of a team, I will try to make the uniqueness of each team member contribute to the whole group. Only in this case, a high performance is guaranteed.
Being a student of this course has changed me, my personality, and my world perception. I think that personal development and people’s understanding have influenced my level of emotional intellect, and thus, I think, my leading skills become more developed and diversified. I think that to be a leader, a simple desire is not enough: the person, who has expressed such a desire, should, except for it, have a few characteristics that are inherent to a true leader only. Otherwise, that person will fail, because it is difficult to be a leader. In business practice, the passage of time and the history of the study showed that anyone could be a leader. Still, even here the simple desire to become was not enough, because even required a willingness to learn and develop the ability to help in the lead. This desire must be based on a strong desire and the true thirst for success. I want to become a leader – a self-made leader who is able to be the best in desired sphere.