In an expanding global and diverse economy, where a mix of races and culture exists – how well we lead and create opportunities amongst diverse communities’ results in how well the community thrives. Leadership is the process in which one person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization to accomplish a common task. It is one of the most relevant and important aspects of the organizational context. A leader must be trustworthy and should be able to communicate a vision – “where the company needs to go”.
With globalization the world is growing closer and more and more companies are employing people of every nationality, age and race. With diversity in the workforce there not only has to be a change in our leadership style but also in our approach towards both internal and external customers.
In case of external customers – Multicultural marketing helps businesses plan marketing strategically, focusing on the how to reach the customer effectively, by studying his behaviour. This requires an understanding of the customer’s psychology as to why he wants to buy a particular product. Each client is unique, so you need to understand the lifestyle, culture and the environment of the group the business is targeting. The marketing, the ad campaign, the slogans all have to be client sensitive if you want the client to buy your product. So for all this you need to understand the local market and then set out the marketing programme.
Diversity within the internal workforce means that to make a business a success, we not only need to incorporate different practices and values but also treat cultures respectfully.
What does a Multicultural leadership involve?
o A multicultural leadership does not focus on an individual. It believes in a mutual relationship. The focus is on welfare, unity and harmony.
o People should work for a group success before personal gain.
o Act socially, interact politely and respect others.
o It involves working together as a team towards the success of the company.
o A multicultural leader thinks the best for its employee regardless of the cultural or ethnic background.
o The leader should consider himself just another part of the team or the organization and not as a superior. Stop the “you are the boss system”.
o Each individual is unique despite outer similarities. Successful businesses are those that learn to accept the small differences that make us human and work together for the greater good of the organization.
o In a multicultural leadership to minimize a conflict the employees are reminded very often that we all are one family working together. This makes the employee fell responsible towards the company
o Allowing everyone to share their spiritual beliefs with one another and providing the freedom to the employee to accept which ever belief they like. This sometimes helps the employees to bond together spiritually and work together for the company goals
o Develop a company’s vision; share the ideas, thoughts, and suggestions of all the employees. The leader makes them feel a part of the system and drives them to work more efficiently for the company.
Leadership in a multicultural organisation has some benefits and helps to:
o Understand and embrace diversity for a more enjoyable place of work.
o Handle multicultural customers better.
o Create a healthy working environment for more efficiency.
o Do better localized business
However, before embracing a multicultural leadership, clarity is required on why you would want to change the leadership style and why do you think this model will work better than the older Eurocentric model?