Lots of issues about leaders abilities have been raised in front of the organisation: what qualities are highly demanded, what is necessary to develop, how it is possible to manage and lead the diverse team. In my blogs I try to discuss with you the leadership in the diverse teams.

Blog 1

Is the diverse team management a must-have ability of a leader?

This is my first blog. It is devoted to the discussion about necessity of diverse team management ability of a leader. We are living in the world of global communication, improving education, increased travel and emigration and as a result growing trade and foreign competition (Ramsurrun 2013). It that situation many companies can employer talents from different countries with big cultural differences. Additionally to the globalisation the generations’ diversity increases dramatically in the last decades (O’Brien 2013).

Some research showed that diverse teams produce better results than homogeneous one and the ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, cultures, ages, gender and generations is a must-have for leaders (Ibarra and Hansen 2011). Mullins shared this idea and argued that the team building was one of the maim roles of a leader or a manager (Mullins 2010). On the other hand the real evidences from the executive search industry support the idea of self-organising the representatives of Generations X and Y, people were born at the last decades of 20th century. These employees are volunteers for work, they show their expectations and reach the results without outside help (O’Brien 2013).

How is it possible for the leader to provide the team building and, at the same time, to keep the freedom for self-organising employees? The research provided by Groves and Feyerherm showed that the great leaders can combine these approaches (Groves and Feyerherm 2011). Their study offered empirical evidence for the critical role of cultural intelligence of a leader which increased the performance of a diverse team. Ang and Van Dyne defined the cultural intelligence as the capability to function in culturally diverse settings (Ang and Van Dyne 2008). They put together the cognitive intelligence (IQ), the emotional intelligence (EQ) and the social intelligence, which assumes familiarity with cultural context. The social intelligence includes a wide spectre of knowledge and skills. The leaders with this competence can successfully collaborate with and manage a diverse team (cultural, gender, age, …). Jane Hyun recognised four steps for building a cultural sensitive leadership style in the organisation (Hyun 2012):

  • Keep the strategic direction in the diverse team management and recognise that confidence and successfulness may not look and sound the same in every culture.
  • Rethink the mentoring programs. It is necessary to select the social media events that are equally appropriate for leaders and team members.
  • Highlight cultural skills and a global mind-set of leadership.
  • Transfer leadership coaching for talent to lower levels in the organisation.

These steps help us to understand how to lead and motivate professionals from a variety of cultures. This is not a well describing process of diverse team management but the starting point for leaders to keep the opened mind and focus on all organisational levels in the daily work.

Based on this discussion we can see that the leadership expands to the wide territory of a company and people management, company strategy and communication. Recent investigations confirmed the better results of diverse teams and increasing the diverse team performance with participation of a leader with the cultural intelligence. Therefore, the complex approach goes at the forefront. Not only a diverse team management is a must-have ability for the leader but the cultural intelligence is one of the main competencies of the modern leader.


Ang, S. and Van Dyne, L. (2008). Handbook of cultural intelligence: Theory, measurement, and applications. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

Groves, K. and Feyerherm, A. (2011) “Leader Cultural Intelligence in Context: Testing the Moderating Effects of Team Cultural Diversity on Leader and Team Performance” [online] available from <http://gom.sagepub.com/ content/36/5/535> [17 March 2013]

Hyun, J. (2012) “Leadership Principles for Capitalizing on Culturally Diverse Teams: The Bamboo Ceiling Revisited”. Leader to Leader. Spring2012, 2012 (64), pp14-19.

Ibarra, H. and Hansen, M. (2011) “Are You a Collaborative Leader?” Harvard Business Review. Jul/Aug 2011 (89)

Mullins, L. (2010) Management & organisational behaviour. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

O’Brien, D. (2013) “Diversity teams and global talents. The future of leadership.” [online] available from <http://www.egonzehnder.com/ leadership-insights/executive-search/diversity-teams-and-global-talent-the-future-of-leadership.html> [17 March 2013]

Ramsurrun, S. (2013) Human Resource Management and its Organisational Context [lecture] module M016LON, 7 February 2013. London: Coventry University London Campus

Blog 2

Can a manager or a leader do something with employee personal attitude to changes?

The point of view that it is possible to recognise the ability an employee to thrive on changes or resist it only from personal attitude and a manager or a leader can do a little with it is supported by some authors (Mullins 2010: 753). I would describe this issue by the evidences from the case-study “Remarking JC Penney’s Organizational Culture” (Purkayastha 2007).

My first blog was devoted to the discussion about necessity of diverse team management ability of a leader. After the providing arguments I concluded that new environment required the complex leadership skills besides of diverse team management. The cultural intelligence became the one of the main competencies of the modern leader.

In the context of my second blog I would pay attention to the change management and particularly to the role of a manager or a leader in this process. Especially, can a leader manage the personal attitude of employees to changes The ICMR published in 2007 the case about the organisational culture change in JC Penny, an US retail company (Purkayastha 2007). Based on this case I provide some evidences how the leader of the change process can influence the employees.

JC Penny had a more that 100 years history and went through several difficult periods. The company had the formed corporate culture with the motto HCSC: Honor, Confidence, Service and Cooperation. When Ullman, new CEO from 2004, joined JCP he found that the organisational culture was very formal, and it seemed that it did not change during the whole JCP history. Myron Ullman presented the new vision for the company with focus on to go up to the industry leadership level. He understood that to achieve this ambitious objective he had to make JCP a great place to work it and if there were the engaged associates the store was profitable.

In that moment the CEO and new HR Director Mike Theilmann could go the way of “we need the employees with new personal attitude because the existing staff will not understand new culture, it is a personality issue”. But firstly, the executives analysed the internal situations, benchmarked the human resources management approach in the successful companies like the Container Store and Southwest Airlines to learn about the best practices. Then Ullman and Theilmann began to implement their plan of the culture change and started from the series of small changes, which could be called “quick hits” such as “Just Call Me Mike”. They were confident that the first name created a friendly place to shop and work. Additionally, the new security ID badges were provided with the first name in bigger letter and access to all parts of the building, which encouraged a more democratic atmosphere. They conducted the first “Associate Engagement Survay” and then provided summary of it and appreciated the feedback of employees. In 2005 JCP carried out a Christmas party for the first time with alcohol and a live band.

Some experts were not enthusiastic about the symbolic changes. They said that JCP was just trying to treat the symptoms rather than the underlying disorder. But according to Johnson and Scholes Cultural Web Model the symbols, stories, myths and rituals had a significant role in the culture (Mullins, 2010).

Besides of these “quick hits” JCP implemented a process of leaders development and providing ongoing training to all employees. The “Retail Academy” was opened and the executives including Ullman and Theilmann participated a lot in the studding process. In 2006 they had each put in 164 teaching hours at the academy.

These series of small changes and after the wholesale changes allowed to achieve the planned results:

  • JCP became a great place to work: they was able to attract the talents and the graduates (2006 – around 1000 students) and 73 % of employees were “engaged” in 2006 Survey (67 % in 2005).
  • It was almost ten times the stock price of the company in the late 2000s.

The example on the changes provided in JCP showed that personal attitude played an important role in the change acceptance. But the complex approach to the process, which included internal and external analysis of business processes and the best practices and the cultural intelligence of the leaders who could combine the best practices and the great history of the company successfully managed the change process and demonstrated to the each person the advantages of the changes as corporate as personal.


Mullins, L. (2010) Management & organisational behaviour. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Purkayastha, D. (2007) “Remaking JC Penney’s Organizational Culture”. ICMR Center of Management Research. Hyderabad: ICMR

Blog 3

Is a leader the sole driver of innovation in the company? Is there a direct link between the leader charisma and the innovation capability of a firm?

My third blog will focus on a leaders influence to the continuously creations and implementations of innovations in a company and correlation between the leader charisma and the company innovation capability (Bel 2010: 47).

Can I suppose that you read my previous two blogs and follow our main discussion which is about the leadership in the diverse team? We raised the themes about the social intelligence as one of the main capabilities of a leader and a leader influence on personal behaviours in terms of changes providing. Are these qualities of a leader link with innovation process in a company and what is the charisma part of this? In this blog you can find the arguments for the importance of a leader charisma and for the diverse team importance in the innovation process. Which way is preferable for the organisation? May be both?

Based on years of analysis, Nith Nohria, Harvard Business School, believed that the CEO can account for up to 40 percent of a company’s performance. In other words, a talented CEO can have a dramatic effect on an organisation’s performance – potentially worth billions of dollars in terms of market capitalisation (Davis and O’Brien 2009). As an example, I can provide the initiative from Anton Derlyatka, Senior Partner of WardHowell – Russian executive search company. They created the specialised venture fund “Talent Equiry Venture Fund”, the fund will invest in the technological start-ups in the development and human resources management. It is the first project in the world where the executive search company opens the venture fund and this leaders decision is directly link to the charisma of Anton. He has a strong entrepreneurial approach and managed to support this idea by the expertise of the leading executive company in Russia (Derlyatka 2012). This initiative allowed the company be on the frontier of new technologies for HR management and combine its with the huge company experience accumulated before. The charismatic leadership of WardHower partner is compatible to the idea of Yukl about the trend of drifting the charismatic leadership to the transformational one (Yukl 2010). He argued that the transformational leadership included almost any type of effective leadership and it could refer to the organisation or to the individuals.

On the other hand, O’Brien, CEO of Egon Zehnder – one of the leading international executive search companies, mentioned that the power of organisations is shifting from the centre to the edges and the success of an organisation determined by group of talents or even individual. More and more they work in diverse, non-hierarchical and cross-functional teams that form around key projects. These groups or individuals are as partners to organisations, they drive innovation and create new sources of value (O’Brien 2012). O’Brien provided the example of Google where the ideas “bubbled” from the ground and the company focused on the creation of these conditions for the young talent and graduates who were the main aim of the company recruitment.

The conclusion of this discussion can present the vitality of both ideas: the importance of a leader charisma which perceived in context of transformational leadership and the diverse team progress in the innovation process. We can see the exceptional results of these two approaches in the executive search industry.


Bel, R (2010) “Leadership and innovation: Learning from the best”, Global Business & Organizational Excellence, 29(2), pp. 47-60

Davis, G. and O’Brien, J. (2009) “Tale of the Tape: Benchmarking Talen“ [online] available from <http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/mar2009/ ca20090317_963976.htm> [27 March 2013]

Derlyatka, A. (2012) “The headhunters decided to have a risk” [online] available from <http://www.wardhowell.ru/about-company/publications/publication/650/>           [27 March 2013]

O’Brien, D. (2013) “Diversity teams and global talents. The future of leadership.” [online] available from <http://www.egonzehnder.com/leadership-insights/ executive-search/diversity-teams-and-global-talent-the-future-of-leadership.html> [17 March 2013]

Yukl, G. (2010) Leadership in Organizations. Seventh Edition. New Jersey: Person Education

Blog 4

Can ethical leader behaviour have important effects on individual or/and organisational development?

We continue to go deeper in the leader behaviour and necessary skills. In the previous blogs we discussed the social intelligence skills and the charisma of a leader as well as a leader influence on personal behaviours in terms of changes providing. It is time to raise the question “How?” What way can a leader choose for express his/her personal behaviour and lead and manage an individual or the diverse team success?

My forth blog will underline the ethical aspects of leadership and their influence on personal and team development.

Rubin and colleagues defined the ethical leadership, as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships…” and argued that the ethical leader behaviour can positively improve an individual and an organisational effectiveness (Rubin et al 2010: 216-17).

Brown and Mitchell pointed that the ethical leader played a significant role in an organisation, he/she had a visible position and a powerful. Employees learned from this role model by observing the ethical practices (Brown & Mitchell 2010).

In the executive search industry the ethic policy formed at the moment of a company creation. This business is based on the professional and as well personal relations between the client and the consultant. The client for the executive search company is not only the organisation contacted for the service providing but also the candidates for a particularly position. The focus on two sides of this specific market allows forming the professional reputation of the company. The reputation, on the other side, let them provide the recommendations to the client company in the area of recruitment and development people (Egon Zehnder 2013).

Especially if we are considering Generation Y, companies tried to create an employer brand based on a culture of ethical behaviour and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Generation Y has a virtue and integrity matter, they prefer to work for companies which has a passion to make the world a better place. For example, apart from the main job, many young people will continue to do volunteer work in local communities for a social or environmental project and expect the support from the organisation in this activity. The support in it can not only create a stronger bond with young workers and the company, it also will increase an employer’s reputation in front of Generation Y (King and Lambsdorf 2012).

Therefore, we can see how important in the executive search industry to create and maintain the reputation. The leader with social intelligence and a charisma what we discussed in my previous blogs should have the ethical behaviour for playing the model role in the company as well as in front of clients, who expect the professional recommendation from the consultants.


Brown, M, and Mitchell, M (2010) ‘Ethical and Unethical Leadership: Exploring New Avenues for Future Research’, Business Ethics Quarterly, 20(4), pp. 583-616

Egon Zehnder Internet site (2013) [online] available from <http://www.egonzehnder.com&gt; [27 March 2013]

King, B. and Lambsdorf, M. (2012) “Wooing Generation Y. How to attract, nurture, and retain this confident and demanding new generation of talent” [online] available from <http://www.egonzehnder.com/the-focus-magazine/archive/the-focus-volume-20091-reward/expertise/wooing-generation-y.html&gt; [27 March 2013]

Rubin, R, Dierdorff, E, and Brown, M (2010) “Do Ethical Leaders Get Ahead? Exploring Ethical Leadership and Promotability”, Business Ethics Quarterly, 20(2), pp. 215-236

Blog 5

My vision of leadership

This is my fifth blog about the leadership in the diverse team. We considered the leadership in different prospective: leading and management of the diverse team require the social intelligence from the leader; and charisma helps to provide innovations, however, the Generation Y is looking for open-minder leaders and organisations for achieving the results themselves with the minimum supervision but with shearing the ethical aspects of work and live environment.

In this blog let me present my own vision of leadership and provide some arguments in its support.

The title for all of my blogs is the leadership in the diverse team. I understand the leadership exactly in this perspective. In the world of globalisation, increasing the travel opportunities and global access to education the diverse team is the realty now. Additionally, the information and communication technology minimises the influence of distance to the team-work. Let me give the example from my previous experience. Two years ago we implemented the LinkedIn recruitment in the company recruitment process. I was in a pilot group with my colleagues from Turkey, China, UK, France, Spain, Canada and Brazil. All our meeting were in the virtual conference on the LinkedIn platform. We discussed our first experience, our proposals for the company page improvement as we were in the same room. The company culture helped to build the productive relationship between us. As a result, for instance, half of all vacancies of the Canada subsidiary were filled via LinkedIn. It was a real experience where I self-actualised as a part of the diverse team.

I connect my future carrier with the management/leadership role on the international level. I do not divide these two directions although they have some differences. Mullins argued that management is getting work done through the efforts of other people (Mullins 2010). Yukl defined leadership as the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it (Yukl 2010). In all these cases we are dealing with the team, in the real situation – with the diverse team.

I provided some examples from the executive industry in my blogs. Why did I choose the executive search industry? The one of the answers is because the motto of one of the worldwide executive search company Egon Zehnder, is “Delivering powerful, effective problem solving where it matters most — at the highest levels of leadership” (Egon Zehnder 2013). Exactly in this industry there are a lot of progressive leaders who understand the trends in the leadership worldwide. Damien O’Brien, CEO and Chairman of Egon Zehnder, mentioned about the challenges for the future leaders in his interview in 2012. He highlighted the great organisational challenge of creation an environment where the talents self-selected and self-actualised where people could bring their creativity into the work; where talents were motivated, attracted and wanted to stay (O’Brien 2012).

Therefore, in the interview of O’Brien I can find the support of all my considerations in these five blogs about leadership. The social intelligence which includes knowledge of cultural differences, emotional competences and ability to create a comfortable and productive team atmosphere, charisma and in the same time understanding the needs of the diverse team, the ethical approach are the main aspects of management / leadership what I share with you.


Egon Zehnder Internet site (2013) [online] available from <http://www.egonzehnder.com&gt; [27 March 2013]

Mullins, L. (2010) Management & organisational behaviour. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

O’Brien, D. (2013) “Diversity teams and global talents. The future of leadership.” [online] available from <http://www.egonzehnder.com/leadership-insights/ executive-search/diversity-teams-and-global-talent-the-future-of-leadership.html> [17 March 2013]

Yukl, G. (2010) Leadership in Organizations. Seventh Edition. New Jersey: Person Education

Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment