This article originally appeared in the 2014 Intercultural Link news magazine’s first issue, fifth volume. It is in the nature of our work for people connected with AFS to be in touch with other cultures, most directly through their work with exchange students or interacting with volunteers and staff from within a network of over 60 countries.
GLOBE, or the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness International Study, attempted to clarify the following issue: How is culture related to societal, organizational, and leader effectiveness? Started in 1994, this landmark study was completed over the course of 11 years and involved 170 researchers worldwide.
Specifically, GLOBE investigated how certain characteristics of outstanding leaders are related to national cultures; it also looked at which aspects of leadership are culturally dependent, or universally desirable. The study held the premise that leader effectiveness is contextual, or embedded in societal and organizational norms, values, and beliefs: For a leader to be effective, she or he needs to embody the implicit idea of what leaders look, act, and behave like, an idea that is rooted in people’s early experiences with leaders and shaped by culture and upbringing.
This table shows the six universal leadership styles, presented from most to least desired.
Further analysis showed that leader characteristics such as ambition, enthusiasm, or formality are valued very differently around the world.
If we don’t take the GLOBE findings as a definite explanation of all intercultural leadership styles, but rather as a roadmap of possibilities, we can use this study to help us work more effectively with members of other cultures.
AFS Intercultural Programs is pleased to announce the new issue of AFS Intercultural Link News magazine, first in 2014 and volume 5.
This issue of the news magazine looks at the value of intercultural learning in the workplace. The AFS Intercultural Link News Magazine is the quarterly magazine on intercultural learning in the AFS network. Ten tips for the intercultural leader: Ten quick tips on intercultural leadership from a business perspective. List of resources on Global Leadership from the Global Leadership Advancement Center in San Jose State University, California. Distance program at the International Institute for Global Leadership: self-directed and based on readings by level and written assignments.
GNC offers a wide range of global projects, such as providing sanitation and clean water, shelter, education and doing many more important works to improve vulnerable populations around the world.


For those of you in education, they also have initiatives for you to use in your classroom, including team building exercises and curriculum to develop intercultural competency. If you are a youth interested in global causes, this is an organization you might want to explore! International opportunities for interculturally-minded youth to get involved and collaborate with each other are becoming more and more accessible. This year’s conference took place in Moscow, Russia on the 18th of August, and was held at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Tom McLeod, an AFS returnee (Australia 2000-2001) and current Intern at the AFS Russia office in Moscow, along with Nonna Kovrizhnykh, Partner Director of AFS Russia, and Organisational Development Coordinator Natalia Zakharova facilitated a session on Intercultural Dialogue and Tolerance. AFS Intercultural Link BlogThe AFS Intercultural Link Blog is a space for sharing ideas, articles, materials, videos and recommendations related to Intercultural Learning, as well as the digital version of the AFS Intercultural Link Newsletter. Leadership formation steps back from the grandiosity and the hubris of the Messiah discourse, which aims at the transformation of organisations and followers. This also reminded me of the amazing Go Dundee Learning Journey I was part of a few Saturday’s ago.
If you are interested in some of the articles or posts and want to know more about my work in Lifetree click here. On the other hand, a leader must be polite, firm, a good leader, patient, a good speaker and wise. Conducted in 62 societies and involving more than 900 organizations, the project looked at the effects of culture through different variables, such as country, industry, and organization, and explored current practices and values. GLOBE investigated people’s expectations of leaders on a broad scale, and also linked them with cultural values and practices.
However, the variation was larger for four other universal leadership styles: Some cultures saw them as good and effective approaches, while other cultures saw them as an obstacle for outstanding leadership. On the other hand, there are also some leader characteristics that are universally endorsed, such as trustworthiness, justness, honesty, ?and decisiveness. For example, for a leader to be described as decisive in the US, she or he is expected to make quick and approximate decisions. Feel free to share it with everyone interested in learning more about intercultural education!


The magazine features content shared by AFS organizations around the world and guest writers, including information on trends in intercultural education, interviews with experts in the field and overviews of upcoming and previous conferences. The concept has been studied from multiple perspectives and one of them, intercultural leadership, is becoming increasingly relevant as organizations become more culturally diverse.
It is one of the three conferences that together make up the AISEC International Congress, an international event to plan projects for social and economic development.
The 10-day conference hopes to foster a positive global impact in the way youth collaborate and interact, and aims to build a global perspective for future generations. Working with others always requires a certain degree of leadership: whether in a local team or across national borders, AFSers need to effectively work with others in order to achieve their goals.
Conversely, in France or Germany, being decisive tends to mean a more deliberate and precise approach to decision making. The organization New Global Citizen (GNC) provides globally conscious youth with opportunities to make their reach go farther and their impact stronger in relation to some of the world’s greatest challenges.
An innovative approach to international organization, the project began in 2011 with a small group of 8 young people who dreamt of a place where all the intercultural-driven youth could collaborate and be in contact.
At the Global Youth Voice event, two AFS staff members had the opportunity to take a more active role and act as facilitators for one of the sessions.
People who were carrying out significant acts of leadership, often in the face of real personal risk, to make a difference in others lives.
This motivated us to look into what intercultural skills may be valued or looked down upon in settings where different cultures come into contact, and whether certain leadership styles work across cultures. The same caution applies to the universally undesirable leader traits, such as sensitivity.
And the ethos of the Go Dundee group to nurture some of these leaders by making opportunity to connect with others of like mind, like heart. Leadership exists all around us, but so much of it present goes unnoticed and it uncherished, at the expense of organisational success and social well-being.



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