Leadership Challenge: Juggling Cultures
Culture, gender, and leadership are closely related. In most cultures, even Western cultures, leadership is associated with males. This association is even stronger in many Arab Muslim countries, where women typically play a limited role in public and business life.
As a leader of an organization, you face the choice of selecting the leader of a negotiation team to draft a new deal with a potential Saudi Arabian client. By far, your best, most experienced, and most skilled negotiator is one of your female executives. She has, for many years, successfully negotiated deals within the United States and in several other countries. Her second in command is a promising but relatively young male executive who still needs to develop his skills and experience.
- Whom do you send to Saudi Arabia as head of your team?
- What cultural factors do you need to consider?
- What are the implications of your decision for your business and the message you send as a leader?