The skills of leading in a multicultural environment are different to those in more monocultural environments because of the additional complexity brought about by cultural differences. In International schools in Africa, where a range of cultures tend to populate the staff rooms, Headteachers need to take this into account if they are to lead effectively. By modifying their own leadership style to suit their environment, they not only show great leadership but also are far more likely to succeed in their leadership objectives.
This article looks at an experience that many people reading this article probably have little or no experience of, yet the strategies are very clear and very effective. How dog ‘mushers’ (those who drive dog sleds) manage their teams is intuitive, clear and based on principles that they, and their dog teams, understand. As leaders we can learn a bit about our teams and their dynamics by watching this ancient sport.
One of the key factors that sits at the heart of good leadership is the ability to build empathy within the team. Leaders who understand their teams know how to do this by working with their team members, empowering them and facilitating the building of professional and positive relationships, not only between the leader and the team members, but between the members themselves.