Various cultures have different leadership styles. Richard D. Lewis, a British linguist, charted the differences in his book “When Cultures Collide.” Besides he teaches these acumens in seminars.
Spanning from ringi-sho consensus in Japan to structured individualism in the United States of America, the charts look as if intuitively correct, if not separately accurate across a given nation.
Lewis argues that even though the countries may be facing rapid economic and political transformations, there exist some patterns which won’t change anytime soon. They have deeply rooted beliefs and attitudes which make them resist sudden changes in values when pressured to do so.
British managers, for instance, are diplomatic, helpful, casual and willing to compromise, although they can be ruthless when provoked. Regrettably, their strict adherence and conformity to tradition can lead to an inability to understand differing values in others.
On the hand, American managers are aggressive, assertive, goal oriented, optimistic, ready to change, vigorous and confident. They value working together as a team and enhancing corporate spirit. Unfortunately, they value individualism and promoting personal career.
With an incredible grasp of the various issues affecting their company, French managers are more autocratic as well as paternalistic. However, they quickly dismiss opinions of seasoned technical staff and middle managers.
A decentralized and democratic system of management among the Swedish people is incredible. The rationale enhances motivation and productivity among employees. Even so, decisions get delayed sometimes.
Managers in Germany strife to form a seamless system. They have a well-structured chain of command based on every departmental unit. Instructions, as well as information, are passed from the top down to the bottom. The drawback is that they considerably rely on consensus.
In the Netherlands, success is measured by the achievement, merit, and competence. Even though managers are decisive and dynamic, a consensus is compulsory since various players must be consulted before making any decision.
Traditional Indian companies practice nepotism. For example, members of the family hold critical positions excluding other people who may have the required skills and talent. Besides, policies get dictated by trade organizations such as jewelers, fruit merchants among others. These groups work in close unison and support one another during stressful moments.
China managers value consensus. The state-controlled companies allow leadership groups to formulate policies, while capitalist-style corporations select leaders with the necessary competence and reputation.