CQ Leadership Research paper

Subject: Psychology
Pages: 15
Word count: 3757
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Introduction

Change is inevitable in the global world. Business opportunities come with the challenges of adapting to the new cultural situations. Every organization is a community that must adjust to accommodate the dynamics of the organization. Understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) is crucial in coming up with a leadership strategy that is successful and acceptable to all the members of the community. SWOT analysis is a guide to identifying the strengths and weaknesses in relation to the opportunities. It helps an organization to develop a fuller understanding of the situation to ease the process of decision making and strategic planning. The primary purpose of performing SWOT analysis is to enhance togetherness and identify ways of avoiding potential problems. This research paper will analyze personal skills weaknesses and strengths within the cultural area.

Part A: SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS

Some  strengths in a  cultural area include:

  • Strongly energized by cross-cultural events. Easy to socialize with people from different cultures. This is enhanced by the love of local food, local hotels and markets and exotic products in general.
  • High performance internationally because of the insatiable desire to embrace different cultures.
  • Sensitivity to the needs of other staff members.
  • Ability to minimize costs. For instance, choosing to spend in a local cheaper hotel compared to the expensive and luxurious hotels.
  • Ability to learn and adapt quickly to new cultures and languages.
  • Interacting better with the locals in every cultural context making it easier to learn their culture and language.
  • Love for diversity. Diversity enhances diverse skills hence better performance.
  • Strong financial resources that allow funding for luxurious travels to meet the potential customers. There are many sources of income.
  • Current employment practices allow diversity as employees are globally selected.
  • Strong departmental hierarchies that allow cultural diversity.
  • Expertise in strategic control of the business in ensuring proper relations with the societal needs.
  • Effectiveness in motivating different personalities to ensure proper coordination of the business units.
  • Proper management of partnership relationships within the global environment
  • Effective and comprehensive communication system that ensures proper decision making.
  • Capability to perform basic research within a cultural context.

WEAKNESSES

Weaknesses within the cultural area include:

  • Failure to recognize the needs of others. A high tendency to believe that colleagues have interests that are similar leading to trouble with colleagues.
  • Most of the employees are not motivated to adjust to the new cultures, and their perception of different communities is influenced by their earlier contacts that may be negative.
  • The company’s location, facilities, and equipment are inefficient. For instance, we have to travel overseas to find hotel rooms for business meetings.
  • The business is not centrally located hence inefficient in meeting the needs of all people because it tends to focus on a small geographical area.
  • Access to natural resources such as trademarks is a challenge to the enterprise because of the different cultural contexts.
  • There is a challenge in a software system. The enterprise is not well equipped with the modern technology.
  • Poor brand management.
  • Slow fulfillment of targets and low effectiveness in customer service.
  • Some local do not trust our volunteer employees because they believe that the business is not interested in the needs of the community.
  • Lack of adequate desire to continue the struggle in a cross-cultural environment. Lack of patience and drive to remain focused on the goal in a cross-cultural environment negatively affect the business.

OPPORTUNITIES

Opportunities within the cultural area include:

  • Investment opportunities, the ability of the enterprise to adjust to the different cultural areas helps in identifying the social needs in a particular area hence the rise in business opportunities.
  • New market trends like the shift in audience needs is an opportunity to develop new products.
  • Funding from donations and legislations from a cultural area are an opportunity for business expansion.
  • The Strong relationship between suppliers and consumers enhance better research to understand the consumer needs.
  • Demographic change in the target audience, change in cultural beliefs and practices is an opportunity to business growth.
  • Volunteer employees. Some employees from a particular cultural area act as volunteers in data collection within that cultural area. This is an opportunity for the business to understand the people’s needs within the same locality.
  • Employees act as mediators between the company and the local people.

THREATS

  • Product designs by local companies pose a very strong competition to our products.
  • Market trends affect our business because of lack of flexibility to respond to change. The shift in technology and consumer interests are a threat to the business survival.
  • Economic trends that influence financial needs negatively affect our business. For instance inflation in a particular cultural area affects the whole nation.
  • Unfair political policies are resulting from leadership changes.
  • Economic and environmental policies influence the leadership survival.
  • Inadequate knowledge and minimal research on the culture and interests of the locals may cause the clash of interests.

Part B: CQ Practices that Foster Cultural Diversity

Managers in the global world are faced with the challenge of coming up with practices that are result oriented and at the same time embrace cultural diversity. Managers in the modern world often faced with cultural differences both within and outside the organization that can interfere with the success of the organization. To achieve the organizational goals with minimal cultural misunderstandings, managers have to be culturally sensitive and promote flexibility within the business organization. A flexible leadership motivates the employees to participate in both local and national multicultural projects. Managers with a high drive to understand cultural diversity are often motivated by the desire to learn and adapt to the new environments. High CQ gives leaders confidence in their adaptive abilities helping them venture into new businesses irrespective of the multicultural situations (Shannon & University College, 2010).

The fact that no one can afford to escape working in the global condition in the modern world implies that the managers have to develop the best CQ practices that would motivate the employees to become more effective in cross-cultural situations (Livermore, 2011).  Such practices are effective in ensuring that the employees develop natural desire to learn other people’s culture rather than seeing them through series of training that are time-consuming and less successful. If employees are not motivated to accept change on how they relate to other people, then training them would be meaningless calling for the need to ensure that employees are naturally motivated. To develop CQ drive among the employees, the manager has to ensure the following:

First, the manager has to encourage the employees, to be honest with themselves by identifying their strengths and weaknesses regarding their abilities to relate to others. Employees should be honest about their passions and the past encounters that may influence their adaptation to the culture in question. The manager should encourage the employees to socialize with the locals. Ensure they eat and drink with the locals. They should attempt to eat the local foods in the local hotels rather than dining in the world-class hotels. The manager should also examine the employees’ confidence levels. Confidence is one of the driving factors that helps people adjust to the different environments. Lastly, a leader should work to meet the triple needs that include environmental, fiscal and humanitarian needs. For a manager to foster good relations among the employees in a cross-cultural environment, they should adapt the following CQ practices:

Trying the Local Specialties

Leaders should try the local tests in terms of food, drinks, and even the local expertise.  Most of the places in the world are ethnically diverse regarding food offered. The leader should encourage the employees to go out of their routine and try new foods in the local restaurants. They should focus on localizing their events. Other than employees eating among themselves in restaurants, they should attempt to intermingle with the local people and discuss some of the issues affecting them. Eating together fosters unity, love, and support for one another (Livermore, 2010). They help the employees learn the local languages. People learn to relate to each other through associations. Apart from eating and drinking together, the employees can discuss critical aspects of business relations by learning their needs, therefore, creating new business opportunities.

High CQ is enhanced through the employees associating with the locals through local travels. Leaders should encourage local traveling among the employees to ensure that their employees understand the local places as they identify the potential business opportunities. Local travels also foster confidence among the locals. People tend to trust people of their level since they are easily accessible to them. Instead of using the company transport means, they should attempt the local means of transport like the taxis and local public vehicles.

Leaders should also encourage the use of local hotels and local commodities. For instance, they should encourage local dressing and local tests regarding decorations. For instance, they can buy some clothes that are attached to cultural events. Additionally, the business should observe the local cultural events by attending local functions or sending representatives to such events. Through communal activities, the company may build good relationships with the local communities and exchanged some cultural beliefs.

Developing local tests is a powerful CQ practice. Culture is a very important tool in winning the local people because people tend to accept people whom they share their culture with. People tend to associate with their cultural products. If the community produces traditional ornaments and beads. It would be prudent for the companies to engage in buying and even helping the local communities market their traditional products.  CQ practices that embrace local culture should motivate the business to succeed. A good leader with the desire to succeed in a multi-cultural environment should enhance the test for the local products and the local way of life (Livermore, 2009).

Additionally, high CQ leaders may encourage cultural relationships while maintaining the company’s success by employing people from the local communities. When a non-local company employs the local people as members of the employee team, they meet both the economic and the social needs of the society. The local employees understand the local culture and are helpful in helping the company understand the cultural dynamics. Understanding of the cultural dynamics helps the company come up with strategies to foster trust and support from the local communities.

Encouraging honesty

One of the important practices to ensure CQ in an organization is to encourage employees to become honest both with the organization management and with themselves. This involves identifying and pointing out their reservations for particular cultures and places. One of the major breakthroughs in fostering CQ occurs when individuals are honest with themselves. For instance, if individuals open up about their eating habits and their favorite practices, leaders can understand their needs and effectively address them. Although being open can make a person vulnerable in some situations, honesty is critical for survival. When a person is honest with self, they tend to know their rights and gain confidence in themselves. Honesty and transparency enhance credibility in the eyes of the public.

If a person is not genuine, they risk losing everything. Honesty is crucial in fostering CQ practices. A plenty of credit is paid for honesty. When a leader is transparent, they enhance transparency among their employees. Cultivating an environment of transparency and honesty in a cross-cultural environment helps in fostering good relations with the public. An honest leader ensures that he tells the employees about their performance instead of beating around the bush. Providing a true picture brings about constructive criticism and helps avoid malicious backbiting. Honesty helps employees receive guidance and support required for them to improve. Constant correction and guidance of employees help them adjust to the socio-cultural environment.

Honesty helps the employees understand the prejudices they hold regarding some communities or cultures. Some employees may have had some bad encounters with members of some cultural groups. Some may have been harassed by people from other communities and may have generalized that people from such communities are bad. Some may have been raped, tortured or even beaten by other genders leaving them with a bad picture concerning a particular gender. Some social prejudices also influence how the employees relate or associate with other cultures (Heuer, & Pherson, 2014). If employees with past negative encounters open up about their past and accept to go through some counseling, they may positively change their perceptions towards a particular community and work for the betterment of both the organization and the community in the particular cultural context. When employees are honest about their past and receive some help, fear will be removed from them and their performance will be great.

The leader of the organization should be honest with the employees. For instance, the leader should develop some motivational strategies with the aim of helping the employees perform well in the cross-cultural environment. Such Promises should be fulfilled in time to ensure that honesty and hard work are developed within the organization. Leaders should develop some incentive that attracts both the employees and the public. Leaders should always assume that customers and employees share common experiences and each should receive their due compensation in regard to their deeds. They need to align their expectations before allowing the employees to engage in product marketing strategy. For instance, where the promise is good and is delivered in time, both the employee and the customer are satisfied, and the consumer may even end up becoming the brand advocate in their community (Dean, 2007).

Honesty also encourages good relationship among people in a cross-cultural environment. Leaders should foster honesty during the meeting by nurturing the culture of providing open feedback. Encourage employees to ask questions on what they need clarification rather than assuming that the leaders understand their needs. When client relationships are built on mutual trust, consumers will be willing to open up. Honesty ensures that leaders are not sweeping over their mistakes but ensuring that they solved amicably. Transparency ensures that people work together as a team with the public. Trust is one of the most important success tools in a business organization. Once a person is trusted in the cross-cultural area, the person has the power to win people from that particular culture and learn more about the particular culture.

Leaders with high CQ encourages telling of truth. The truth is a reality principle that help people see the world as it is. The building of the CQ requires that a person becomes as truthful as possible. Many companies collapse because they fail to follow the reality principle. In a cross-cultural environment, truth helps foster good relations. Truth should be told in an organization irrespective of how ugly the situation will look like. Leaders should be brave enough to open up to the idea that they can be wrong and accept criticism. To ensure the success of a company in a cross-cultural environment, employees and leaders should be honest enough on how they relate and how they perceive the surrounding cultures.  Being truthful in all you do helps produce positive results while maintaining a good relationship with the neighboring communities (Cottrell, 2015).

Connecting cross-cultural assignments with other responsibilities

Some people find it difficult to experience other cultures and are not naturally motivated to work on cross-cultural activities. In such situations, the leader has to find ways of boosting the CQ drive by encouraging the employees to complete cross-cultural tasks while advancing the personal interests. For instance, the company may identify the passions of its employees regarding sporting activities. To foster cultural diversity, leaders may encourage sporting activities like football. During the sporting activities, the employees are allowed to play against the local people. Practicing and playing together encourages good relationship and understanding of one another among the members of the company and the local communities. The leaders of the organization may even choose to sponsor the training of some members of a particular culture to become members of the organizations’ football club. During training and friendly matches, the employees may develop interests in the culture of the particular group. Through sporting activities, the company may meet the organizational goals while performing some cross-cultural activities.

CQ leaders may also use other activities that are community-based to foster cross-cultural development. For instance, the organization may establish some social activities like helping the needy members of the community, developing children homes and meeting the social needs. Activities such as healthcare and even subsidized education may attract the local people who will, in turn, enhance cross-cultural development. The leaders may also use some music activities and even develop some recreational facilities that attract both the employees and the public. Recreational facilities bring together the members of the public and the employees and allow them to relate and share (Cottrell, 2015).  Through such events, CQ is fostered among the employees. The desire to perform better in sporting activities becomes a motivation for employees towards learning a particular culture. Sporting activities become avenues for interaction between individuals from different cultures, therefore, promoting understanding in the cross-cultural environment.

Support of religious institutions like churches and mosques may help enhance the development of CQ. When leaders take advantage of the loopholes in the society to advance their knowledge and understanding of the society, they tend to gain the upper hand over the others. It is crucial that the company participate in social activities as a strategy to understand the cultural dynamics. When employees lack personal drive towards CQ, their passions serve as motivators towards learning the other people’s culture. Leaders who adopt the blend of cross-cultural assignments and the employees’ passions are more likely to succeed in ensuring there is an insatiable desire to understand other culture. When events like golf clubs and other sporting activities are organized within the cultural range, the employees from other cultures will be in a position to interact with the local people through cheering, eating and drinking together. Passions are exciting to every individual and are likely to evoke the desire to learn from other cultures. Unlike training that are imposed on individuals, when people naturally develop CQ, the desire is likely to last (Boone, 2012).

Team practices

Leaders may choose to practice teamwork to encourage cultural diversity. Leaders need to move beyond the fear of entrusting groups with tasks that foster cultural intelligence.  Working as teams encourage people from different cultural backgrounds to relate to each other by interacting at personal levels. Teamwork encourages togetherness and toleration of various diversities. Leaders should make teamwork an organizational culture where employees share behaviors, values, and beliefs. The absence of teamwork leads to individualism with each trying to outdo the others. Where values are shared, things like mistrust and blaming of cultures for personal failures are unheard of. People learn to tolerate each other, celebrate their diversity and tolerate each other’s shortcomings. People gain confidence on each other and their leaders.

Teamwork leads to extraordinary performance among various members of an organization because it teaches people to submit to their team leader. It fosters brotherhood and the desire to see each of their group members succeed in life. When people come together, their diversity helps the organization realize extraordinary performance because each team member has unique talents and skills. Diverse skills and talents help the organization grow.  Employees become energized to perform better. Different groups focus on the group development rather than engaging in personal development. Employees learn each other’s beliefs and traditions and take it as a priority to respect personal identities. Team working helps employees come up with positive perspectives regarding one another.

Cross-cultural assignments are peacefully completed because misunderstandings are eased through empathizing with one another. People working together are in a position to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. People build rapport which starts with understanding where the other members are coming from and accepting each other’s point of view and style. Exploring and understanding of CQ lead to unlimited growth and innovation. A strong company comes from building a strong cultural diversity. CQ is essential for making great company products and coming up with new ways of handling some challenges in the organization.

Teamwork enhances successful performance and gives the leaders an easy task in solving problems. Employees give each other the spirit of hard work and enhance a healthy competition leading to better performance. People try new things like food and drinks and venture into new social and economic activities. A wide range of skills, personalities, and talents helps leaders come up with strategies that allow better performance. Each team member learns self-discipline is giving time to their leaders to focus on new opportunities that will help in business expansion. Team leadership is crucial in encouraging cultural tolerance. For instance, every team member is given the opportunity to foresee a particular aspect of the group activities.

Cultural intelligence (CQ) is a very important aspect of cross-cultural survival. The world has been converted into a global community where individuals cannot carry out their activities without running over the other person. The need to eliminate prejudices associated with cultural differences underscores the need to have a clear understanding of the cultural intelligence (Boone, 2012).  The changing global trends are a challenge to the individuals to adjust their ways to tolerate the changes. It is crucial for every leader to develop the best CQ practices that would allow the different employees work together for the success of the enterprise. The absence of CQ practices within the organization will lead to disunity, hatred, unhealthy competition, and social prejudices.

Conclusion

Every business leader needs to equip themselves with the tools that facilitate their success in every cultural area. SWOT analysis is one of the key tools used by leaders to identify their survival rates in the business industry. SWOT gives the leader an overview of the company and allows them to move on with their quest for success. It is one of the tools that helps in developing the cultural intelligence (CQ). CQ, on the other hand, focuses on cultural differences and how different cultures interact with each other. Understanding CQ helps leaders in developing practices that would ensure employees tolerate each other while ensuring peaceful coexistence and success in enterprise activities.

Every leader needs to understand the driving force behind the actions and behaviors of their employees. CQ has a lot to do with motivating people to learn to accept and love a particular culture. Without a CQ drive, employees will have little confidence giving leaders a hard task of struggling with cross-cultural work. Therefore, it is very crucial that leaders motivate employees to develop CQ drive.

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  1. Boone, L. (2012). Contemporary marketing, 2013 update (1st ed.). [s.l.]: Cengage Learning Custom
  2. Cottrell, S. (2015). Skills for Success: Personal Development and Employability. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. Dean, BP. (2007). Cultural intelligence in global leadership: A model for developing culturally and naturally Diverse teams.
  4. Heuer, R. J., & Pherson, R. H. (2014). Structured analytic techniques for intelligence analysis.
  5. Livermore, D.A. (2009). Improving your CQ to engage our multicultural world. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing group.
  6. Livermore, D. A. (2010). Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The new secret to success. New York: American Management Association.
  7. Livermore, D. (2011). The cultural intelligence difference (1st ed.). New York, NY: AMACOM.
  8. Shannon, L.M., &University College, Dublin. (2010). Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and brokerage Centrality as pathways to emergent leadership in multicultural settings: Palgrave, Macmillan
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