Leadership is critical to an organization’s success. Cultural diversity is a significant factor in the global market. To be successful, a willingness to participate is mandatory. Leader involvement at all levels of the organization, opportunities for training, knowledge of the organization, knowledge of the venue, cost analysis, flexible work arrangements, accountability, and knowledge of the target market are some essential components requiring attention from leaders when addressing cultural diversity.
Leadership sets the mission, vision, and goals of organizations. Company culture and structure are embedded in the moral and ethical behaviors of their key decision makers. Corporate citizenship is also an important role for leaders, as it is the role in which the community perceives leaders’ identities. The power to manage and control cultural diversity can create financial success and offers a competitive advantage for diversity processes.
The international and political economies present global challenges to organizations because of globalization. One challenge is the continuous influence of cultural diversity on profit. The significance of cultural diversity on profit begins with the examination of history and evolution of capitalism, the consumer, and the perpetual growth of society. This theory shows evidence of the influence of the world economy and globalization as well as competition and conflicts among industrial countries, rich and poor countries, and multinational corporations. Charting future economic interdependence and competitive advantage is an ongoing process. Clear evidence exists indicating the relationship between cultural diversity and profit. The influences of cultural diversity on organizational culture, structure, communication, ethics, dispute resolution, negotiations, and arranging internal strategies through strategic planning provides significant evidence of this.
The implications following discussion and focus on cultural diversity and its implication on profitability for leaders is in the identifiable gaps and limitations. As national culture and organizational culture change, cultural diversity is continuously changing. Developing corporate strategies means investment in training and staffing. An organization dynamic has to be continually changing within the global environment in which it is operating and needs to respond to threats and opportunities by predicting future events. There is no one component to an effective leader. An effective leader will have leadership characteristics that will entail transactional leadership in the context of productivity and time sensitive obligations; such as legal reporting requirements; and in healthcare, saving lives.
There should be characteristics of servant leadership, such as humility and ethics. The transformational leadership characteristics include high moral values and starts with a vision that will excite and create potential followers in the pursuit of success. The situational leadership traits will allow leaders to adapt to meet the needs of their team. The transformational leadership trait provides good feedback that creates roadmaps and rejuvenates their team in the pursuit of success. A situational leadership trait includes the availability and willingness of workers to perform with competence and motivation that can be achieved through direction, coaching, participation and observation of the development process. Leadership is important to the success of an organization.
We live in a consumer savvy and knowledge based environment. As academicians and leaders, there is an expectation of being knowledgeable and being able to direct and provide leadership through wide and diverse spectrum. I believe leaders are born and made. This belief speaks to Skinner’s behavioral theories leaders are born, not made, and Fiedler’s and Bandura organizational theories speak to leaders are made, not born. Leadership is a balancing act and if the skills for effective leadership are to be learned; then it has to be from a blank slate. As academicians, our environment, higher education, is the foundation for our platforms as leaders. This foundation will help to dictate what type of leaders we become and that we help develop for future economies. Finally, the global environment creates many opportunities and challenges. Implementing and developing some component of a STL (Sustainability Training Leadership) model will help the development and growth of future leaders in a global and technology driven environment.
Corrinne Graham, PhD