Leadership Styles and International Teams
Leadership Styles and International Teams
“The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers” Peter Drucker
This definition, from Peter Drucker has been a great inspiration source. It generates a lot of interrogations and guides us all along this document. It’s brief, clear and amazingly relevant. How to define a leader without thinking about the persons who permit to consider them as leader? It’s sometimes difficult to understand how some leaders became such important because of our disagreement with their idea, or actions. Dictators are the perfect example to illustrate it.
There were, and are a “kind” of extreme Leaders. But we have to recognize their extraordinary charisma and skills to rise crowd. Technically speaking, they can be considered as model even if they abuse of this personal power to satisfy their own desires and needs (regardless laws and needs of the many). But this ethical problem brings us another question, what’s the difference between an efficient and a good leader? We think it’s only a question of moral and an efficient leader can’t be consider as a good one historically speaking.
More generally, leadership implies influencing employees to voluntarily pursue organisational goals. Thanks to his charisma, a leader is able to achieve goal (or to make them achieve by others) whereas a manager is able to, thanks to his knowledge and his capacity to organize. But it’s also possible to be both of them, because managing is a skill that everyone could acquire.
Not Leadership, which is a quality issued from your personality. So we have to question ourselves: What is a good leader? And try to become the best as possible thanks to your personality? Firstly, we are going to present the different leadership styles management we grouped in 6 categories. Then, we are going to study how to be a good leader in an international team context and finally the particularities of leading an international team.
I/ Leadership styles
1. Autocratic leadership styles
The leader defines roles and tasks; he takes unilateral decision without consulting any members of the team. He imposes actions to be taken. He expects immediate execution without objection. The autocratic leader doesn’t care about others’ opinion or suggestions. The leader decides for everything and everybody has to execute his decisions. Moreover he keeps as much power and decision-making authority as possible. This is a one-way communication: “I tell, you listen”. Skills used for this leadership style: influence, performance and initiative When to use autocratic leadership style?
* When quick decisions need to be taken or there is a limited time for decision making. For example a competitor rival decided to launch suddenly its new product * When there is no need to team agreement
* When high-level of management is needed and the need of motivation is not critical. * When new and untrained staff does not know which tasks to perform or steps to follow in the company. In fact sometimes the company hasn’t got time to form an employee or to explain to him what he has to do exactly in the firm
What are the limits of the autocratic leadership style?
* Employees are expecting to simply follow the orders, and they are not given any explanations. * Employees have little opportunities to give suggestions even if it is for the welfare of the organization. * Passive resistance of the team: disinterest, disagreement. Lack of motivation and desire. * Some people tend to use this style for yelling, using demeaning language, and leading by threats and abusing their power. * Sometimes this is not the authoritarian style which is used but unprofessional style called “bossing people around” which is worst and abusive and has no place in a company Example : The autority of Chritine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde, 56 years old and currently director of the International Monetary Fund, is classified 9th in the ranking of women with the greatest power in 2012 according to Forbes Magazine. She is now the woman of power par excellence, she is recognized by all for her natural authority, intelligence and effectiveness. She presides over the destiny of many countries. Christine Lagarde is not afraid to confront the economic crisis and to take important decisions, this is why she has got the surname of “Iron Lady of the global economy.” 2. Coaching leadership styles
The coaching leader defines employee’s roles and tasks but he considers all their inputs and suggestion. He asks for ideas before he makes the final decision: a team engaged with feedbacks a good way to develop team members. The coach spends time with his employees and helps them to develop their strengths and skills, in line with their career. He seeks individual autonomy and building competent teams. This can have long-term benefits for the company, the leader and also the employees. This is a two way communication style between the decision of the coaching leader and the suggestions of the employees, the goal is to help and assist employees Skills used for this leadership style : Listening skills, development of others, awareness of emotions, empathy When to use the coaching leadership style?
* Help an employee to improve his productivity, to develop his resources, to be more effective in autonomy. * To create a team and accelerate the performance of this team in the future * To increase the organization’s productivity, growth and the business results in a long term period * To provide guidance and to develop a long-term strength because if the employees receive the right support, the right help, it will be positive for them and for the leader. The company will be more effective What are the limits of the coaching leadership style?
* Difficult to implement
* It does not provide immediate results.
* This style is difficult to implement because it is a guideline but at the same time the employee has got autonomy * This style does not work with employees who expect a precise list of tasks to execute (and therefore expect the micro-management)
We did a case study of the coaching style of Richard Branson and his company : The Virgin group. It is set out in the Annex.
3. Participative leadership style
This style involves the leader including one or more employees in the decision making process. The leader wants to create a team with his employees without hierarchy. He encourages the staff to participate at the decision making process : “What do you think?”. The leader keeps staff informed about everything that affects their work. He can organized some brainstorming to reap ideas or criticism a project. Moreover this style enhances the creativity and the innovation; it allows the company to benefit from collective intelligence.
Using this style is a sign that the leader respect his employees, it allows them to become part of the team and allows the leader to make better decisions. If there is a problem, the staff will be involved in the solving process: “Let’s go to work together to solve this” Skills used for this leadership style: Teamwork and collaboration, conflict management, influence, empathy When to use democratic style?
* Leaders want to encourage team building and participation. * Leaders want staff to be involved in decision-making and problem-solving processes. * Leaders want to provide opportunities for personal development and job satisfaction. * If the team must agree with a decision and is responsible for the outcome. * When the leader needs to use the skills and knowledge of his team in order to come up with decision. * When the leader is new and wants to have information on his team.
What are the limits of the participative leadership style?
* It is inefficient when it comes to getting quick results * It is inadequate in times of crisis
* An employee very efficient can be impatient waiting the opinion of the community to proceed, and in contrast: evasive employees, who prefer not to be involved, may create problems. * Participative time consuming process of decision-making and today “time is money” Example : The participative style of Steve Jobs
Jobs believed in his employees’ creativity comes from spontaneous meetings : “You run into someone, and ask what they are doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you are cooking up all sorts of ideas”. Steve Jobs infused Apple employees a belief that they could accomplish anything, he enjoyed working with teams who trusted in themselves, who saw themselves as winners. He believed in team’s collaboration. Moreover he commented that “if a building did not encourage innovation, you lose the magic sparked by serendipity”
4. Laissez-faire/Delegating/ Free Rein/Hands off Styles
Laissez-faire leaders allow followers to have complete freedom to make decisions concerning the completion of their work. Team members control the day-to-day decisions and involve the leader when needed. It is key that the team understands when to get the leader involved. It requires the leader to trust people and their skills, and give the maximal freedom to team members. It allows followers a high degree of autonomy and self-rule, while at the same time offering guidance and support when requested. The laissez-faire leader using guided freedom provides the followers with all necessary materials to achieve their aims, but does not participate in decision making directly unless the followers request. It is said that the Laissez-faire leadership style, or we may call delegating/free rein/hands off styles, may be the best or the worst leadership style.
If the leader just simply follows the meaning of “hands-off”, doesn’t involve participation or intervention at all, when he /she leads his or her followers, this style of leadership might become the worst. The two words laissez-faire and leadership are absolute direct opposites. The French term laissez-faire was originally used relative to mercantilism, and is defined in economics and politics as an economic system that functions best when there is no interference by government, and is considered a “natural” economic order that procures the maximum well-being for the individual and extends to the community. Leadership is defined as an interactive process that provides needed guidance and direction. Leadership involves three interacting dynamic elements: a leader, a follower(s) and a situation. The leader’s role is to influence and provide direction to his/her followers and provide them needed support for theirs
and the organization’s success.
This free leadership style is based on the premise that the leader and the team have a common goal, have a close and reliable relationship. Through the free leadership style, leaders show a high degree of trust and recognition to the team members, including loyalty and professional skills. Thus, the enthusiasm for the work of the team members is stimulated, and the team can work efficiently. Therefore, the primary factors that affects this leadership style, is the relationship between the team leader and members. When the team shares the same target and the common direction, and the leader has full confidence in his/her own team members, it may be assured to the team members to have free rein to carry out the project and the free style of leadership can be possible to be applied from the beginning to the end. When the members and the leader do not have a unified goal, or the team does not have a common direction or the same target to reach, the team members will take advantage of this free style leadership for its own sake, harming the interests of the whole team or making a violation of the leader.
Because the free rein leadership style gives high degree of autonomy to the team members, and it is an expression of trust in the team members, including the affirmation of loyalty, expertise etc, once the atmosphere of freedom is broken in the leading process, or the relationship between the leader and the team was broken, there will be conflicting, affecting freedom leadership style until the relationship is restored again. Therefore, the implementation of the free style of the leadership, attention should be focused on that the goal is the same, as well as a close relationship with team members. Suitable Group:
When the team is highly capable to analyze de situation and have a clear idea of the situation to be taken in a particular situation. * For example, this style can often be found in teams of professionals, such a team of doctors or engineers, as they form to achieve a goal or solve a problem. * When a close monitoring of a decision is not necessary. * When leaders have full confidence in team members.
Not suitable for employees with lower-skills and experience. Free members who are free to take their own decisions can lack of motivation. Moreover, there
is no way to check if they do the right thing, this can lead to poor productivity. Decisions can have negative impact on the whole result. 5. Psychological Leadership Style
Leaders of this style occupy a special position in any group. A psychological leader motivates group, encourages and supports his /her group members, and takes care of the emotional needs of group members. For example, in a sport team, when a member begins, the leader might ask, “How do you like to be supported? Would you like us to be verbal with our encouragement? Would you like us to be quietly attentive and add our ideas when asked? Or what?” In this leadership style, the leaders play the role of spiritual pillar. He/she is the team leader, team representatives, and even the role of technology source. They are supposed to be all-powerful, all-knowing, invulnerable, incorruptible, indefatigable and fearless. The Leader is responsible for failure or success.
He/she is the superman/superwomen or the guilty. If the President of the United State shows weakness, sickness or fear, the effect shows themselves soon in the stock market, as well as in political cartoons and letters to newspaper editors. So the leaders need to have a high degree of personal charm and quality, attract team members to work around him. This leadership mode, the team leader is the charm of the team, the team members to be able to join the team under the team leadership to become the pride. Therefore, in this case, because of the charm of the leaders, the team was able to attract a large number of talents to enrich the team’s strength. The team will gradually grow under the leadership and guidance of the leader. In this team, the centripetal force of the team depends entirely on the personal charm and personal abilities of the team leader.
The team leader is like a magician. He continues to attract the attention of the team members, and unites the team members closely. However, this model of leadership has such serious dependence on the leader that any wrong decision of the leader’s will result in the error of the team direction. Moreover, the excessive authority of the leader also causes that no one can supervise or correct the errors of the leader. What’s more, once the leader leaves the team, the entire team will face the situation of losing its pillar and vitality. For example, Steve Jobs for the Apple team is not only an effective leader, but also a psychological leader. Early, Jobs’ personal creative spirit brought vitality to the whole team. Later, for the reasons of the Board, Steve Jobs left Apple. As a result, the Apple operating nosedived and even faced a closure. And then, Jobs was hired to Apple once again. Thanks to his leadership, i series products were developed, and Apple came back to life. Since the death of Steve Jobs’, Apple product ideas have been questioned, because Apple lost its original creativity and vitality. Suitable Group
When members are “ready”, this is the most effective leadership style. For example, when employees already know their weaknesses and hope to improve their performance, the employees are aware of the need to cultivate new capabilities for self-improvement. Unsuitable Group:
When the team members refuse to learn or refuse to change their work. As a matter of fact, this style of leadership has an influence on the mind of the team member. If the members are not willing to accept inwardly, it is impossible to make the style of leadership work. 6. Situational Leadership Styles
The situational leadership theory is developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. According to this theory, there is no single “best” style of leadership. Effective leadership is task-relevant, and the most successful leaders are those that adapt their leadership style to the individual, group or the situation. We can take some daily example to explain: because we know some people are always late, when we tell them the time to meet, we will make it earlier than others; on the first day of a new colleague, we try not to get angry with him/her, especially he/she is nervous. The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model contains two fundamental concepts: leadership style and maturity level. Leadership style
According to this theory, the leadership style, or we can also call the behavior pattern, includes directive (task) behaviors and supportive (relationship) behaviors. – Directive (task) behaviors: lead members to
achieve the goal in one-way communication, like a commander of the group. Using methods as below, 1. Provide direction guiding, pointing out the direction of the team effort 2. Setting targets & telling members how to achieve them 3. Using evaluation methods & time lines to help members to get correct information 4. Defining roles, assigning responsibilities to each group member – Supportive (relationship) behaviors: help group members in two-way communication, like a coach in the team, these behaviors may include: 1. Asking for resources, raise funds, gaining time for the group
2. Solving Problems for the group, including technical problems, social relation problems, etc. 3. Encouraging members, listening to their thoughts, paying attention to their emotions, boosting their moral. Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard classified all leadership styles into 4 behavior types, named S1 to S4: S1: Telling – is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, why, when and where to do the task; S2: Selling – while the leader is still providing the direction, he or she is now using two-way communication and providing the socio-emotional support that will allow the individual or group being influenced to buy into the process;
S3: Participating – this is how shared decision-making about aspects of how the task is accomplished and the leader is providing less task behaviors while maintaining high relationship behavior; S4: Delegating – the leader is still involved in decisions; however, the process and responsibility has been passed to the individual or group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress. Maturity Levels
According to the individuals or the group, the suitable leadership style is to be chosen. The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory identified four levels of Maturity M1 through M4:
M1: They still lack the specific skills required for the job in hand and are unable and unwilling to do or to take responsibility for this job or task. M2: They are unable to take on responsibility for the task being done; however, they are willing to work at the task. They are novice but enthusiastic. M3: They are experienced and able to do the task but lack the confidence or the willingness to take on responsibility. M4: They are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing to not only do the task, but to take responsibility for the task. Developing people and self-motivation
A good leader develops “the competence and commitment of their people so they’re self-motivated rather than dependent on others for direction and guidance.” (Hersey 91) According to Hersey’s “the situational book,” the leader’s high, realistic expectation causes high performance of followers; the leader’s low expectations lead to low performance of followers. According to Ken Blanchard, “Four combinations of competence and commitment make up what we call ‘development level.'” D1: employees are low in competence and high in commitment.
D2: employees are described as having some competence but low commitment. D3: employees who have moderate to high competence but may lack commitment. D4: employees are the highest in development, having both a high degree of competence and a high degree of commitment to getting the job done. Advantages of Situational Leadership
1) The outstanding reliability. This model has been proved to be an effective method of leadership. Many enterprises tend to use this theory to train leader. 2) The situational leadership theory can be widely applied. It is developed for all types of team. Compared to other leadership styles, which focus only on a specific type of team, situational leadership theory has greater adaptability. 3) Situational leadership model is easy to grasp and apply.
On one hand, the concept of situational leadership model is easy to understand, on the other hand, it can tell clearly what to do and what not to do in various contexts. 4) Situational leadership model emphasizes the flexibility of the leader. A successful leader knows how to adjust their leadership characteristics according to the characteristics of the team, to enhance the team’s efficiency. 5) Situational leadership model concerns not only about the leaders but also about the team members. The team members would be more confident and comfortable in their work. Disadvantages of Situational Leadership
1) In practice, it is not easy to classify the subordinates’ level. 2) How to match the actual style of situational leadership? Situational leadership model is just a general leadership style type. How to operate in practice to achieve the goal, it has not been specifically defined. 3) It is not mentioned, how much the demographics will influence the application of the different leadership styles. 4) Lack of support from the empirical analysis. So far there are just a few surveys or researches done to justify the assumption. II/Leadership Styles in Managing International Teams International: Managers as a team leaders How to be a good Leader that is the question?
A leader is not a friend, not a tyrant but a fair man and a fair business man. His work consists in managing international teams, diverse cultures and personal differences. He has to distinguish himself as a reference, because working groups need leaders. Moreover, in a whole interdependent business world, Globalization has imposed as a global and required attitude and not only an economic reality any more. But there are different styles of leadership reflecting the diversity of the world. That is why, a leader has to find fundamental tools and establish a strong vision for successful leadership. He has to inspire, motivate and lead a whole team. And do not forget to adapt to different ideals to follow the same road map. It is an everyday-job. 1/ How are perceived Foreign Leaders?
First to underline a global vision of Leadership, we need to know how are perceived foreign leaders in the different countries? Is everyone has the ability to be a leader? Is there only a global leader or a huge amount of domestic leaders? All these responses could help us to understand all the difficulty to be a leader and also the stake to be culturally savvy in order to manage an international team. Let us have a look on different domestic leaders:
* In Gallic culture: A leader should be a strong authority figure with a high degree competence. * In French culture: The French follow a competent leader, the follow the highest position. The French managers are integrated within an authority network, pyramid of differentiated power (hierarchical). * In German culture: Germans respect competence rather than personality with both individual work and collective work. Indeed creativity and rational outlook are essential for a career success mostly in an entity organized as a network of individual. * In American culture: Americans evolve in an autocratic system. They advocate worker participation in management decisions. * In Scandinavian culture: They need a participative Leader, Mostly for sharing data and information within the organization. * In Japanese culture: Japanese respect social positions, age and status. Indeed, Japan has a close proximity, and a culture built around the extended family (fundamental element of life in the Far East) with symbols as the village, the rice field and so on.
They points out the cooperative ethos of the East. Eastern culture allows people to play in any way that will benefit the team, encouraging the spirit and score goals. Japan for instance encourages innovation and enterprise with a shared vision of the nation. Communication and information sharing are cornerstones of the Japanese corporation through report for instance. * In British culture: Instructions disguised as request with a fairness attitude are crucial qualities for Leaders (interpersonal and subjective view in an organization where there is a network of relationships and where things get done through influence). * In Spanish culture: Courage and decisiveness with ability to solve issues are the best leaders’ requests. * In Italian culture: Personal relationships are fundamental (family model), recognizing personal confidence of the owner. In addition, The West prefers a culture based on smaller units, encouraged to think for them and to be self-sufficient, to encourage competition. These differences are reflected in the management practices.
Westerns need for hierarchical organizations with multiple layers of management perpetuating feelings of exclusion, isolation and competition. Westerners assign people through positions and tell workers what they can or cannot do whereas they argue that group cohesion is crucial to productivity and their systems of reward are based on individual effort, and appraisal systems viewed with cynicism because they are open to favoritism. They are Individualists and for them competitive culture prevails. 2/ What are Leaders’ tasks and Attributes to manage an international team? A leader has moved his/her perceptions of the game to win. He needs to know how to change in order to improve the efficiency of his/her team. And in the same time, leaders have to assess his/her followers’ perceptions of the game’s boundaries, rules and definition of success, because conditions in the global market place are forcing reevaluating the meaning of teamwork, global partnership or even alliances.
That is why leaders have to take into account the right signal. But how to read the right signals? Misinterpreting the wrong signal, they could lose business opportunities. That is why Observing, Searching and underlying cross-functional, cross-cultural issues in multinationals teams help improving team efficiency. Sometimes it requires other additional qualities:
* Sense of humor
* Ability to check assumptions
* Willingness to listen to others
* Respect for difference
* Trust in the ability of effective teams to outperform individuals It is more or less difficult according to leaders’ origins. Indeed for Americans it is really difficult, because they have different professional outlooks and backgrounds. And personal leading qualities are innate or acquired, sometimes, imposing to pay a role in order to achieve key requirements. Exposure to other countries can just as easily reinforce ethnocentrism as counteract it. International managers can learn many of the skills they need, which are the following and adopt key behaviors: a) Applying good judgment
It is about becoming aware of diverse assumptions, spelling them out and checking to see if others share them. That is to say learn to confront without alienating, clarify without prejudging, give and receive feedback without being defensive, centralize information, belief, feel, perceptions and broadcast it. Moreover it requires checking behaviors and showing example, because Leaders have to be models. b) Reading cross-cultural cues
It depends on high context gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, nonverbal cues. It implies do homework on the culture in advance (dos and taboos), be prepared “spend hours in polite conversation before getting down to business in Japan or Mexico”. Indeed, that knowledge on different cultures is a bonus to capitalize on. Understand the difference between personal or cultural values, norms to adapt for Multinationals negotiations’ which differs according each corporate culture and history. Multinationals leaders have to develop ambiguity managing training courses and experience to be the most flexible as possible.
They need to use their intuition and rationality to separate personal biases from probable facts. c) Finding a guide not to be manipulated but well-oriented A guide is a model figure that is followed. A Leader needs to be a guide and to the fit the corporation culture. It also infers sometimes becoming coaches or mentors, but not friends. Indeed a lack of proximity could reach a lack of efficiency and rigor. d) Reflecting as well as acting
The international team leader has to be a model and act as one. Because of difference in players and game strategies they must make time to reflect as well as to act because they want long-run results. Moreover the mix of personnel is becoming increasingly international that is why they need to create an environment that rewards openness, frankness, engagement and teamwork. Do either one-to-one or group discussions to be more productive and have more creative results.
The international team leader must decide when to use groups, how to compose them and how to orchestrate meetings so that power plays are controlled and personalities balanced. Adapting and changing, if necessary, from one-to-one management to an effective orientation in the global market place. HR staffs must build up their expertise to meet teamwork challenge. e) Modeling the process
”Teamwork begins at home”. Leaders first examine their own internal capabilities and then buy or Make a flexible mobile cross-culturally competent team of professionals. f) Selecting the right people
Through a set of international assignment criteria tailored to specific
culture helps ensure success abroad, developing company-specific and country-specific personal profiles. g) Considering with shareholders
Common decisions on the best objectives and elements for international human resources have to support plan through code signing. h) Training modification With package courses leaders have to make sure people discuss their perceptions on what they actually see. Build the idea of differences because of gender, culture, organizations, age, personal learning styles. Indeed, when people work in groups, they need to make sure members are from a variety of backgrounds in order to cultivate diversity to teach people how to act and react without forgetting developing working rules that will allow each people equal air time. Furthermore, they have to encourage international managers to bring in actual team problems for discussion, role playing and reflection is substantial.
Teamwork must be a driving value within the company and be appropriately rewarded. And HR Staff should develop an internal communication network, so that each employee is aware of how different teams work, what they accomplish and what knowledge and expertise they can share. Means as proper selection, training, support and incentives will get international teams outperform individuals. But how can we recognize the leader in any case?
There is a practical test: take the right to apply sanctions, reward, put his/her veto, overriding individual’s decisions about corporation structure. i) Leaders’ Tasks (ability required): * Simplify: Leaders have to resolve value conflicts among his/her followers. * Link action to vision: Leaders need to clarify and explain shared goals versus actions required in order to put a strategic and co-working framework. * Be different: Leaders must distinguish himself/herself from his/her followers (authority, hierarchy framework). They need to think to the answer of the following question: « How do you see you leader?” Indeed, followers need believing in a “winner”, sometimes without any sympathy synonymous with expertise and success managing multinational teams.
We can emphasize that leaders distinguish themselves with the following drivers balancing between firmness and severity: * Expertise: depending on experience, knowledge and understanding of the world. * Personal qualities: energy, persistence, memory and insight. * Track record: past performance, reputation and ability to dealing with a situation nobody had faced before. * Vision: Traduce the corporate strategy; broadcast the road map of the group integrating followers through his/her presence. That is to say put image on action, identifying key common values and beliefs in order to the whole team can fell involved in. Inspire that vision giving an identity of each one linking through staff loyalty, implying the same aspirations. The leader’s vision need to be promoted throughout the organization and sustained thanks to every-day actions, with change if required. *
* Have a vision: learn to communicate a vision to people, your team can follow: * Communicate it
* Believe it
* Follow it
* Model it
* Be passionate: Passion is contagious: “take your passion and make it happen” * Be a great decision maker: be quick, committed, analytical and thoughtful. * Be a team builder: let one of your team members to take responsibilities, don’t micromanage and make you available if questions arise. * Be a life-long learner: the world is changing and new resources become available every day. Leader must be aware of new technologies and to share it with your staff. * Communicate clearly: remember you have diverse listeners, make sure you tell everyone in the same way, the same message. * Give an expect respect: to earn respect, give it, and get it. * Be knowledgeable: leaders must be aware of everyday changes in business and discuss about it within the team, answer to up-to-day questions/concerns. * Be organized in order your staff be. Be exemplary.
* Be positive: think positive to motivate and work in a positive and efficient way. Conclusion:
To sum up, we have defined a leadership profile. Leaders are individuals who help create options and opportunities. They help identify choices and solve problems. Leaders build commitment and coalitions.
They do this by inspiring others and working with them to construct a shared vision of the possibilities and promise of a better group, organization, or community. Leaders engage followers in such a way that many followers become leaders in their own right. The varied demands of an increasingly complex world often require that leadership be shared by many of the members of a group, in ways appropriate for different situations. Be Aware, Be different!
III/ Intercultural management: Leading an international team The last half century has seen enormous change impacting the way we work. The world is shrinking with advances in information technology playing a crucial role in facilitating the global expansion of organizations. International teams are now a common phenomenon with many large organizations structuring their workforce according to function rather than geography. Successful organizations do not hesitate to move their talents around the world to ensure that they have the right skills and knowledge in the right location when necessary. But what does it take to manage such a culturally diversified and geographically dispersed team? What is an international team?
The increase – both in organizational global mobility and in individual migration –means that, most large organizations now employ a multicultural workforce. It is not unusual to find traditional teams made up of members from a number of different countries. These team members work for the same organization and may share the same profession, but the fact that they do not share the same cultural background provides them with a different view of the world. As a result, they think and behave differently to each other.
Virtual teams are also on the rise as international organizations embrace new technologies to enable geographically dispersed teams to work together cost-effectively and efficiently. This virtual and remote working of members from different cultures and across different time zones doesn’t come without challenges. Cultural generalizations
It would be wrong to suggest that team members from one specific cultural background always behave in the same way. Of course, personality, upbringing, previous experiences and a host of other factors all impact their behaviors. Any team bringing different personalities and experiences together can face frustrations and challenges. However, researches have shown that values and attitudes tend to differ according to one’s cultural background resulting in different work practices and behaviors. * Do team members prefer to work on individual projects or pool their ideas and resources? * Is it acceptable to show emotion during conflict?
* Should they be expected to stay late or take work home in order to finish a project? * Is it ok to interrupt a meeting to take an important phone call? Members of different cultural groups will answer these and other questions differently. Academic researchers such as Geert Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars have shown that cultural behaviors vary according to a series of dimensions on which we can place the countries of our colleagues. Key cultural dimensions include:
* Hierarchy vs. egalitarianism
* Groups vs. individuals
* Relationship vs. task
* Open vs. hidden displays of emotion
* Degree of comfort with uncertainty and risk
* Work/life balance
* Attitudes to time and space
* Attitudes to nature and the environment
Understanding that individuals belonging to different cultural groups have varying attitudes to these dimensions can help us understand how and why our colleagues and team members sometimes do things differently. For example, a team member from a hierarchical culture such as India tends to be more deferent to their manager and expects approval for each piece of work before moving on to the next stage. Conversely, team members from more egalitarian cultures such as Australia or the USA are usually much more comfortable working autonomously. Management versus Leadership
The purpose of management is to make people effective, motivate them, operate and communicate a strategic process. It is the hardest! Whilst Leadership is setting a new direction the entity will follow. Leaders are spearheads. Leadership complements management. But both deal with human aspects that
require: self-awareness, to understand differences, accept and value them. This is a sum up of each one’s responsibilities:
* Cope with change * Set a new direction of that change * Align people * Motivate people by satisfying basics (human needs)| * Cope with complexity * Develop capacity to achieve its plans by organizing and staffing * Enquires controlling and problem solving * Budget and plan|
Leading international teams: a Global Leader
Definition proposed by Mendenhall and al in 2008: “ Global leaders are individuals who effect significant positive change in organizations by building communities through the development of trust and the arrangement of organizational structures and processes in a context: involving multiple cross-boundary stakeholders, multiple sources of external cross-boundary authority, and multiple cultures under conditions of temporal, geographical and cultural complexity”. Managers of international teams need to take time to improve their own global cultural knowledge and sensitivity in order to understand the different expectations, priorities and behaviors of their team members. Intercultural training and/or coaching can help managers to develop the knowledge, skills and strategies to manage an international team more effectively.
Taking the time to learn about other cultures and becoming more ‘culturally curious’ is invaluable for anyone new to managing an international team. The real challenge is to pre-empt challenges and frustrations that may arise in an international team and to harness the positives in order to create synergy from the culturally diverse team members. Managers may need to adapt their usual leadership style to maximize the potential of an international team. What has been successful with domestic teams may not always work as well with an international team. Planning, scheduling, trust criteria, expectations of delegation, feedback and regularity of contact will be viewed differently according to the culture of the individual. Good international managers need to adapt their style to take these differences into account. Managers also need to consider different ways of making team members feel valued as an important part of the team. For some cultures being valued as a person is not so important as long as their work is respected. Other cultures are more holistic: they want to be liked by their manager and appreciated as a person and want to receive credit for the tasks they complete.
So spending time getting to know team members is essential in the early stages in order to understand the skills and knowledge each individual brings to the team and how to bring out the best in each of them. When the manager form an international team, he needs to be clear and explicit and always uses documents ground rules and processes with input from all the team players to avoid ambiguity at a later stage. Good relationships between the team leader and members are essential but not enough on their own. Team members also need to get on well with each other, even if the team is geographically dispersed. Providing opportunities for team members to share knowledge and experience – whether through informal forums or more formal meetings, team building events or training programs – will allow the team to build rapport and trust, making it easier to work effectively as a unit.
To finish, Global Leadership differs from Domestic Leadership. Indeed Domestic leadership lacks of connectedness. A global leader implies a global scope with a management perception, a relationship management and a self-management. It requires cultural sensitivity. A leader has to create relationship, hit the bottom line and merge a common vision and common goals. Global Leadership versus Domestic Leadership
The increase of competent global leaders has become a key success factors in International Companies. Indeed, implement global strategies keeps on developing the number of constraints. Global talent leads to Global leaders and require understanding differences between global and domestic leadership stakes. Global leaders are distinctive in their scope, their mindset moreover they need to be culturally aware. The difference between global and domestic leadership infers additional complexity. In other words, Global Leaders need to cope with: * Multiplicity of issues across a range of diverse dimensions, for instance with different customers, legal procedures, regulation and competitors. * Interdependence among lots of stakeholders from different culture, countries that is to say with different polices, economies and environmental systems. * Ambiguity in interpreting relationships, cues and signals at the appropriate situation. * Flows in terms of transactions, sharing information, values patterns and the last but not the least the organization structure. Ghemawat (2008), a Harvard Professor emphasizes the challenges of global operations linked with the complexity of operating abroad. He noted 4 difficulties: * Cultural issues as language customs, religion and ethnicities. * Administrative and political issues as laws, trading blocs or currencies. * Geographical issues as physical distances, time zones.
* Economic issues as income levels, cost of natural and human resources, infrastructure or information. But Caliguiri, an expert in careers recognized in the Business area, in 2006 claimed the experience approach according to that global leaders distinguish through their researches and his or her definition of what leaders do through their tasks and positions. It is a ground approach, much more every day practical. He highlighted the following stakes to be a global leader:
* Work with colleagues from other countries
* Interact with external clients from other Countries
* Interact with internal clients from other countries
* Sometimes communicate using a second language
* Manage and motivate geographically dispersed and diverse employees and teams * Develop strategic business plans on a worldwide basis
* Manage a budget on a worldwide basis
* Negotiate in other countries or with people of different nationalities * Manage foreign suppliers and vendors
* Manage risk on a worldwide basis
To conclude those leadership’s skills need to be assess to improve and develop talent and management processes. Because develop talented people and effective global leadership is definitively a competitive advantage for multinational companies. Different communication styles
Good team work is all about good communication. Even in a monocultural team, frustrations can occur all too easily when messages are misinterpreted and communication breaks down. Individuals from different cultural backgrounds usually favor different communication styles varying in terms of directness,
formality, and use of silence, non-verbal signals and the levels of information shared. A useful concept is Edward T. Hall’s ‘high and low context’, which illustrates how relationships impact communication and the balance between verbal and non-verbal communication. A ‘high context’ communicator will have a more indirect, implicit style and will rely more on the shared knowledge and experience than a ‘low context’ communicator. It is easy to predict a ‘low context’ team member’s frustrations with a colleague who seems unable to get to the point and ‘tell it like it is’.
Asian cultures tend to be much more comfortable with silence rather than Western cultures in which it is more common to fill silences or sometimes to even talk over the person who is already talking. How does this impact an international team meeting and what can the team manager do to ensure that everyone’s opinion is heard? A clear agenda and meeting protocols are essential and the team manager needs to have the skills and awareness to interpret individual reactions and to guide the discussion to enable everyone to contribute. It is really important asking for individual updates or switching roles at each meeting so that different people lead or take the minutes are simple ways of ensuring that all voices are heard. Coping with conflict
Successful international teams need to be comfortable with conflict and ready to resolve any disputes quickly. Cultural groups that place more importance on the group than on the individual are usually less comfortable with conflict as they value harmony and saving face. This is in contrast to those from individualist cultures who focus more on task than relationship and are usually open in expressing any disagreement.
They don’t view disputes as personal but simply as something to be resolved in order to get the best results for the project or task. Example: French colleague who seemed to be extremely critical of his colleague’s presentation but then gave very good feedback to his manager afterwards. He was challenging his colleague to stretch his thinking and to explore other options and possibilities but this didn’t mean he thought it was a bad presentation.
For a Western manager working with Asian team members it is important to allow them the opportunity to discuss any areas of conflict individually rather than in front of the team as this would potentially cause them to lose face or induce others to lose face. So, the way leaders manage international teams, cope with conflict, organize and orchestrate team can depend on the organization of the firm and its cultural origin. Moreover, we can distinguish the Horizontal Leadership (Obama) and the Vertical Leadership (Sarkozy). Horizontal Leadership| Vertical Leadership|
* Hierarchical organization * Mechanistic * Controlling resources * Chain of command * Span of control * Knowledge is power| * Flat organization * Organic * Sharing resources * Coordinating * Unlocking potential * Knowledge creation| Conclusion:
Now more than ever, there is a great opportunity for international collaboration through international teams. Whether it’s a single project or a long-term assignment, by taking a proactive approach to recognize the potential challenges of international teams, organizations can reap the benefits and create an international structure that ensures that their top talents are utilized to the best of their abilities and efficiency. International team leaders need to step back from usual assumptions and methods and put themselves in the shoes of their colleagues from other cultures. Re-evaluating what has worked well in the past, taking time to understand the preferences of each team member and finding common ground for all, will help to form a united and effective international team. Be a global leader, manage an international team is definitively an every-day job dealing with the hardest: human factors.
So, we have seen how important the leadership in the actual world is. No matter what is its form, it’s generally a real pro for a team. Managing an international team is a hard task that leadership can simplify. It’s necessary to understand that Leadership styles management are listed and defined, but it’s complicated to give advice about how leading because the person you are in relation with will impact a lot your leadership style. It will sometimes be more efficient to be “autocratic” whereas it was useless in a previous similar situation.
The leader, to be the best as possible need to be a good manager and also mix all the different leadership styles in order to take the best from each one. Even if it’s pretty idealistic, this is the advice we would give in order to be a good manager. But is a good leader enough to manage an entire company?
Tables des Matières
“The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers”1
I/ Leadership styles2
II/Leadership Styles in Managing International Teams International: Managers as a team leaders12
1/ How are perceived Foreign Leaders?12
2/ What are Leaders’ tasks and Attributes to manage an international team?13
a)Applying good judgment14
b)Reading cross-cultural cues14
c)Finding a guide not to be manipulated but well-oriented15
d)Reflecting as well as acting15
e)Modeling the process15
f)Selecting the right people15
g)Considering with shareholders16
i)Leaders’ Tasks (ability required):16
III/ Intercultural management: Leading an international team18
What is an international team?18
Management versus Leadership20
Leading international teams: a Global Leader20
Global Leadership versus Domestic Leadership22
Different communication styles23
Coping with conflict24
Bibliography, Videos sources and Study Case27
Bibliography, Videos sources and Study Case
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPfRKu05bkQ&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptKNVsf7b9Y&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCtfV8tspho
http://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/culture-for-business-and-management/leading-across-cultures/index.php http://www.ehow.com/info_8210591_cross-cultural-leadership-styles.html http://www.legacee.com/Info/Leadership/LeadershipStyles.html Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H.. Management of Organizational Behavior 3rd Edition– Utilizing Human Resources. New Jersey/Prentice Hall, 1977 Blanchard, Kenneth H., Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarmi. Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness through Situational Leadership. New York: Morrow, 1985 Ronald Goodnight. Encyclopedia of leadership: Laissez-faire Leadership. Sage Publication, 2004
Study Case: Richard Branson Basic Example for Leadership
1. How it all began
Sir Richard Branson is one of the world’s most eminent, creative, innovative and highly successful entrepreneurs of all time with a net worth of over $4.2 billion. Being the very epitome of a true business leader, he has gone through numerous difficulties to be able to found the Virgin Group, establishing a unique approach to leadership, which has attracted quite many followers all over the world. He has proved himself as the master of serial entrepreneurship, perfecting his one of a kind leadership style over the years. Born in 1950 and educated in Stowe in the United Kingdom, Richard Branson’s first business venture was setting up a Student Magazine at the age of sixteen.
This was initiated after his final decision to drop out of school, most probably due to the hardships he had faced in his earlier childhood, caused by his having been diagnosed with dyslexia. However, despite Branson’s poor academic performance, in 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, which later turned into one of the most well-known brands in the world. During the following years, Virgin Records was established, which signed such prominent artists as Mike Oldfield, the Sex Pistols, the Rolling Stones, etc. The Virgin brand continued to grow during the next decades as Branson expanded his enterprise by founding the Virgin Atlantic Airways, and also starting a Virgin record label in America.
With around 200 companies in over 30 countries, the Virgin Group has now expanded into leisure, travel, tourism, mobile, broadband, TV, radio, music festivals, finance and health and through Virgin Green Fund his company is now investing in renewable energy and resource efficiency. Moreover, in 2005, the Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company, came into existence, where the intention is to eventually reach orbital trips around the globe as well as go to the Moon. Branson has been named a “transformational leader” in the field of management, with his maverick strategies and his stress on the Virgin Group as an organisation driven on informality and information, one that is bottom-heavy rather than strangled by top-level management.
2. The unique personality behind the face of Richard Branson Being a great leader is not an easy task to be achieved, and there is a certain set of personal characteristics, which are intrinsic to Richard Branson himself and make him the unique entrepreneur he is. Firstly, passion is of essential priority for the successful fulfillment of various tasks. It is the quality, which gives you the stimulus to further improve the performance of your company and develop your business ideas. Hence, Branson should definitely be considered a real passionate leader due to his incessant striving for perfection and sincere commitment to contributing to people’s welfare.
On the Virgin Group’s corporate website it is mentioned that the company is “giving birth” to other firms as well as “holding their hand” through their development, as this pinpoints the exceptional supportive attitude of the company towards its staff. Secondly, the next personal characteristic of paramount importance happens to be courage in the form of having the guts to take risks and initiatives. One emblematic decision of Branson – to switch bank due to poor support and advice for Virginia records – led to the company’s ultimate survival.
Additionally, there are many examples of Branson, jumping into different ventures such as is the case with the space tourism-related Virgin Galactic. This enterprise was extremely risky and brave, yet very profitable as well. Despite the substantial uncertainty involved, Branson has showed several times he is excellent in risk management as well. When starting a new venture, he usually shares the risk with other investors, but also makes sure the risk is minimized doe each party. Thirdly, creativity along with having knowledge of the business you are in is a combination of personal features, which are fundamental in being a great leader. There is no denying Richard Branson’s extraordinary creativity, given the variety of industries his businesses operate in. From airlines to record labels, he has managed to build a steady empire. What is more, he has a profound knowledge of not only the business he runs, but the existing competition as well, which has led to a constant increase in the company’s profits.
Fourthly, in spite of having insight into different situations, it is also very important to be frankly motivated to do the right thing. Branson has shown the world his open and kind nature to create something he is proud of. Actually, he mentions this as his underlying philosophy of business – to do something for the sake of improving other people’s lives, not merely making money. Another positive feature of his – adaptability – has also helped him in achieving this task, as he is now engaged in numerous environmental initiatives and research. 3. Branson’s leadership style
Management is about doing things right, leadership is about doing the right thing, says Peter Drucker. Sir Richard Branson has developed his outstanding leadership style through the years and has proved it actually works. It can be best described as participative leadership. He makes sure to involve his subordinates as well as other stakeholders in the decision-making process in order to be able to extract various constructive opinions, which would aid to the flourishing of the business. Branson himself outlines that one cannot be a good leader unless he genuinely likes people. As a result of this, his leadership style is based on a few very simple and down-to earth rules, and namely: * Smile. Everything gets much easier if you show a friendly face. * Have fun at work.
* Believe in your ideas, employees and colleagues.
As we can see, Branson puts a serious emphasis on human resource management. He strives to find people, who have innovative ideas and are determined to give 100% to achieve their goals. He insists that all of his employees should be company-oriented, sharing common values, co-operating with one another in their work to beat up competition. Consequently, the human resource management system is built, so that the staff is constantly motivated and encouraged to improve his/her performance, being given certain benefits such as bonuses, profit sharing or any kinds of promotion available. 4. Branson’s leadership qualities
A magnificent businessman, an inquisitive person, a truly caring human being, Sir Richard Branson possesses a set of leadership qualities, which only few entrepreneurs in the world have. It is his leadership abilities which make him stand out and have helped him build his empire of businesses. I shall mention the quintessential ones in order to analyze his image much better. First of all, Branson claims he has learnt his management skills through trial and error since founding his first business when he was sixteen. Nowadays, his main efforts are concentrated into achieving an effective time management. He divides his days equally between trouble shooting, new projects and promoting his businesses. He is regarded as a genius at handling and preparing PR activities and is never afraid of being in the limelight. Next, another skill of his is the ability to delegate work to his co-workers and management staff, leaving them to get a stake in the business and try to develop it as much as they can. He surely spends a great deal of time to build a certain business, but he also wants to recruit such people, who would be able to run it without him, thus taking a step back.
Moreover, Richard Branson is famous for his belief that if one looks for the best, he will get the best. He is really precise when it comes to hiring potential employees. After a thorough selection has been conducted, he gets them to stay in the company regardless of the mistakes they may make. He is more likely to bring specific people into another venture where the person is more likely to perform well according to his/her capabilities, than just fire them. With his likeable personality and professional leadership style, Sir Richard captures everybody’s attention with his openness to people and devotion to their well-being. He considers failure as an unfortunate occurrence when leaders avoid the reality of business. What is one of his guiding principles is that one has to trust the people with whom he works and learn from their mistakes. Blame, bitter accusations and recriminations are pointless. Another leadership quality to be highlighted is Branson’s striving to build tight interaction between managers and employees.
He encourages his staff to write to him with whatever suggestions they come up with, which would be of benefit to the future success of the company. He assumes that motivational strategies extend to innovative ideas, so he tries to listen to as many propositions as possible and offer his professional feedback. The development of a bond with his team is an essential part of his everyday work. Following this feature, Sir Richard also gives his all to inspire people to think as if they were entrepreneurs themselves, and to treat them as adults. He believes that in order to make workers perform better, they should be given more responsibilities, which inevitably activates their self-conscience. Last but not least, one of Branson’s main positive leadership characteristics is that he sees no one way to run a successful business, because what works well today, may not work at all tomorrow. This adds up to the point of trial and error mentioned above. Branson considers there are no strict rules to be followed – just do what you believe is the best for you. When one makes a mistake, he stands up and learns how to avoid it in the future. He wittily mentions that this is the recipe for success and above that it deprives one from the unpleasant want to scream at the sight of a bullet points list.