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Diversity may not be a new concept, but it is a contemporary issue that has sparked spirited discussion at work. In the past, white male employees made up the majority of the workforce in the US. In other words, there was bias at work on the basis of race and gender. Nevertheless, due to various historical occurrences, things started to shift gradually over time. During wartime, women enlisted in the military. Civil rights laws and the abolition of serfdom supported minority interests in terms of equal opportunities, regardless of race or gender. Now, things are changing as we seek to create a diverse workplace free from prejudice. Nevertheless, contemporary business environment, institutions of higher learning and social settings everywhere have increasingly become multicultural due to globalization.
In the business arena, where profit drives strategic goals, the need for cultural awareness has brought a serious impetus on management practices with employees expected to acclimatize to a culturally diverse working environment (Daft & Lane, 2008). This brings to the fore cultural consciousness as the basis of communication. Research shows that effective interaction across cultures can only be fruitful with cultural intelligence. According to Daft & Lane, (2008), multiculturalism presents a huge challenge to global leadership when it comes to developing culturally intelligent firms. However, creating culturally intelligent organizations can only be successful with the training of sorts. Organizations that embrace cultural intelligence may not have the cultural expertise, but they tend to pay attention to unfolding events, empathy, and intelligence, to understand people from various cultural backdrops and make decisions from an informed position concerning why certain employees behave the way they do. This paper sets out to evaluate the approach I would use to lead people who are not like me with respect to generational groups, race, gender, blue collar and white collar?
As a leader in modern organizations, I would embrace diversity not just by moving away from separate programs but also by assimilating diversity into all corporate processes. This is to say, I will employ diversity as a mirror for examining, recognizing, developing and enhancing talent. When it comes to the recruitment process, the aspect of minority recruiter will be supplanted. Instead, I will instruct all recruiters about the manner of relation to the multiculturalism from which potential employees are selected (Brescoll, 2011). Leaders have the prerogative to create accountability in their structures. This is in line with the management undertaking the obligation for developing a diverse and all-encompassing workplace.
Just the same way the clientele base is diverse, I will promote a diverse workplace that has employees from various backgrounds. This will be essential for workers to learn from internal diversification in a bid to ensuring that they remain not just culturally attuned but also in meeting the needs of external diversity (Brescoll, 2011). The reality is that an Asian-American male, will hardly be African, however, if these two groups are put in a multicultural work environment, where they can deliberate freely about their cultural disparities, they can be somewhat effective when relating to clients from various cultures. To remain effective, I will lead from the front, by resisting the temptation of using multiculturalism to have legitimacy with clients. Consequently, I would, employ diversity to enhance cultural competence at work. In this regard, as a corporate leader, I would create a workplace culture that is inclusive. As such, a diverse environment is not necessarily where people look different but where workers from different cultural backdrops are.
Good leaders understand that using the appropriate leadership approach for a given event seems to enhance the likelihood of success. Understanding these differences is necessary for helping leaders enhance their abilities to operate in a highly diverse global society (Brescoll, 2011). As a leader in a diverse organization, I would adopt both charismatic and democratic leadership styles. Through charismatic leadership, I will be able to inspire workers while establishing a vision and communicating it with not just passion but also enthusiasm. Moreover, through charismatic leadership approach, I will establish an organization with committed workers who believe in the leaders' mission. In reality, corporate leadership that is democratic is also transformational and as such, it does not validate itself because it thrives on diverse opinion. However, coupled with emotional and social intelligence, I will be able to promote a culture of innovation. Subsequently, I will also use the democratic leadership style, which involves taking into account the feedbacks of subordinates in decision-making. Through democratic leadership, I will be able to encourage collaboration, an aspect that will significantly enhance workers' job satisfaction and dedication regardless of generational groups, race, gender, blue collar and white collar. With this approach, the subordinates will feel that they maintain control over their tasks. Furthermore, by means of democratic leadership, I will motivate other employees to tackle problems themselves. Employees from cultures where collective achievements are rewarded over individualism will obviously support my visions because of the mere fact that I am able to sacrifice personal needs for their entire group. This notion will in turn lead to high performance and quality production of goods and services.
In leading people who are not like me, I will embrace diversity by bringing board workers with diverse experiences, gender, race, generational groups and collar. The diversity of thought is the most profound experience that can happen to any forward-looking organization (Greenburg, 2009). I will also inspire creative genius in my company by examining the market trends and competitors. With this in mind, I will lead my employees to innovative productions and services that meet market needs. I will also use social and emotional intelligence to spur innovation by engaging employees with different ideas and opinions.
Brescoll V.L (2011). What do leaders need to understand about diversity? Retrieved on March 2, 2017 from http://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/what-do-leaders-need-to-understand-about-diversity
Daft, R. L., & Lane, P. G. (2008). The leadership experience (6th ed.). Mason, OH: South Western Cengage Learning.
Greenburg, J. (2009). Diversity in the workplace: Benefits, challenges and solution. Retrieved on March 2, 2017 from http://www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/diversity/diversity-in-the-workplace-benefits-challenges-solutions.asp
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