by: Andre Tjahyana
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others, Bill Gates”. In this 21st century, the world is changing. Globalization has revolutionized both the way we do things and whom do we do it with. Hence, needless to say, the way to lead and the kind of leader needed.
New technologies empowered by the third industrial revolution, redesign the way we do things. Meetings are done via teleconference, business partners are connected 24/7 via blackberries, the need of leading blue collared assembler shifted into the need of leading a sophisticated white collared operators. This calls for both leaders that are able to harness the power of telecommunication and updated to new technological changes. Leaders are not expected to be technology masters, but essentially they must be adaptable in harnessing new technological tools and able to lead people who are masters.
Referencing from McLuhan’s “Global Village”, the workforce that need to be led are culturally diverse. A Chinese-American manager would be expected to lead a team of an Irish accountant, Indian technician, and African American marketers in an Indonesian office. What that brings is a culturally diverse workforce that is needed to be sensitively considered. Leaders need to understand that the differences goes beyond the physical appearance, different cultures have different customs, conventions on doing things, and even core values that they believe in. To be able to create a harmonized working community, both leaders and co-workers need to respect each other’s culture. Ultimately a leader must be able not only to understand the cultural difference, but also able to synergize the difference into creating an effective work team.
Proactive to Changes
In these decades, changes have become a norm. Change is no longer a controversial verb but the orthodox way to...