Culture projects a value system one should abide by and adhere to when living within such a system. Leadership often is an infusion of traits that moulds one’s individual identity and enables one to command and gain control. However, culture and leadership could be described as the two sides of a coin that may run hand in hand. The leadership attributes one may possess should suit the culture fostered and upheld by the place or environment he/she lives in. As they overlap, if such elements move in opposite directions, its outcome may often become counterproductive.
A good leader should be able to assert authority and influence his followers with the ultimate aim of driving them towards a common target. This mission lies in the hands of a good leader, and when good leadership skills are put to practice, the attainment of a common objective becomes merely a possibility. Yet the problem remains unsolved when leadership traits and cultural attributes begin to clash causing conflicts. The outcome of such a rift will always become counterproductive on the society at large, causing adverse effects.
The cultural system of a workplace or a society forces its members to live by it. When leadership traits mismatch cultural values upheld, followers of a leader will naturally move away from the path of guidance. Culture often becomes the lifeline of its bearers. If no importance is placed on the culture that moulds them, even a good leader’s efforts to guide such a society will remain a waste. As much as people shall embrace the culture that defines their way of life, the individual entrusted with the duty of guiding such a group of people should also be able to blend in and commingle with the societal norms from which originates their existence.
A good leader is often an influencer and shall remain a role model to its followers. Nevertheless, a leader by nature is usually accustomed to adopting and practicing the value system rooted in the society, which helps nurture its growth and sustenance. He who embraces the culture a group of people have learnt to live by, will swiftly be accepted by such individuals as a personality capable of accompanying and guiding them in their journey of survival.
While some become born leaders blessed with innate traits of leadership charisma, some, on the other hand, become skilled as good leaders by moulding themselves into one. However, a leader shall be able to accomplish his mission to the best of his ability, only by mastering the art of how to embrace in the right way the way of life his people shall foster.
By Dr. Ranali Perera
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