Older hand and a younger hand holding a rose

Remember Timeless Truths

Photo above by Jake Thacker on Unsplash

“Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:2-3

One of my favorite memories is talking to my grandma about what she remembers as a child. For example, she’ll tell the story of the flood when she lived along the river. Or she’ll tell the story about the table that was the last purchase her father made before he died in his 40’s. Or she’ll giggle about the story of her first driving lesson on the expressway in the city. She may not have been laughing that day, but it is certainly a funny story now. Through these stories, I’ve learned not to worry about possessions, how to value family relationships, and laugh about the stressful moments. Her storytelling reveals lessons that are timeless.

The book of Joel in the Bible shows a leader who included the context of the day and related it to God’s work in the middle of that context (see Maxwell Leadership Bible). God gave Joel a purpose to describe what he saw and tell how God was going to use the terrible to bring forth the miraculous—and encouraged the people to tell their children and their children’s children for generations to come. Those stories of what was happening in the moment became timeless truths.

Jesus might have done the same. In the Bible, he talks about a current event and highlight God’s fingerprints. He’ll use a story to reveal the timeless truth. Pastor Kevin of Magnolia Lutheran Church mentioned in a sermon that in Matthew 22:1-14, that it is possible (according to some scholars) Jesus referenced a real situation when sharing the parable of the wedding feast. It is possible Herod’s son was getting married, and those that didn’t show lost their lives (see Matthew 22:1-3). Jesus turns the story in an unexpected direction when he uses that launching pad to show what grace may do in that context. Jesus uses a story to reveal a timeless truth.

What stories do you share that reveal a timeless truth? What is happening now that you’ll want to tell future generations?

© 2020, Mollie Bond

What is Your Purpose?

Author note: A special thank you and shout out to Dr. Joseph Castleberry of Northwest University for allowing me to base this blog on his thoughts about determination. Photo above by Michael Heuser on Unsplash 

I was recently in a meeting where Dr. Joe Castleberry, president of Northwest University, explained that determination in the Bible is knowing and understanding the purpose, then planning and following through with persistence. It is certainly a bit of wisdom I want to noodle on, and I hope you do as well.

I remember many plans I’ve made that lacked purpose—the passion that motivates a person into action. I also remember many of those plans dying away. I remember the underwhelming desire to persist. Perhaps you have a few plans that have fallen away without the underlying purpose.

As I restarted this blog, I realized that I needed a purpose. A plan. A motivator to persist. Then I read 2 Corinthians 3:5, which says, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”

The renewed purpose of this blog is to help you get closer to Jesus. To be comforted by him, refreshed by him, purposed by him. God must come first. If you are encouraged to spend more time in the word or thinking about or praying to God, then I have done my job. The blog is not proof of my competency (which comes from God anyway), or hot pursuit of persistence (which can’t occur without the purpose anyway).

I will also state that this is where I’ll give updates on other things going on that may draw you closer to God. One of those is an upcoming devotional for people separated by their spouse by me and being published by Ambassador International. As I work with the publisher to narrow down a launch date, I’ll release it via this blog and on social media channels. There will be fun giveaways, special opportunities, and much more to announce in due time.

In the end, it is all about determination to show God off. Albert Tate said, “The battleship is designed to fulfill the mission of the banner it flies.” I am designed–purposed, even–to fulfill the mission of encouraging people to come closer to God.

The battleship is designed to fulfill the mission of the banner it flies. --Albert Tate

What is your purpose? Are you in the planning or persistent stage? Leave your thought below.

© 2020, Mollie Bond

The Rebel

Author notes: Strolling through a shopping mall (masked, of course) two weeks ago, I saw the Christmas section. Already. It was the end of September. It reminded me of a short fictional story I wrote and thought I would share with you, based on John 7:32-49. Enjoy!

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash
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He stood up. Oh no, I thought, this is going to be a disaster.

A Christmas Eve service is my favorite moment during the Christmas season. It’s the one time that it feels like Christ’s birth is recognized before I am once again covered in consumerism. The feeling is like being wrapped with a hastily bought pre-made bow meant to rouse the receiver to believing a greater value of a re-gift. In other words, the season, apart from the Christmas Eve service, feels like smoke-and-mirrors to me: a bad white elephant gift.

So when the man stood up in the middle of the calm, candle-lit serenade of “Silent Night,” I feared the Christmas magic of a treasured memory would vaporize into another smoke-and-mirrors illusion.

He was the rebel. We all knew it. My small group leader whispered to me earlier that he was from the south side. Someone else asked during last week’s prayer session that we pray for him because she thought he was possessed. I can’t blame them in that assumption. After all, he was socially uncouth, loud, and almost heretical in the claims he randomly declared “truths.” I had not verbalized my own concerns—that he was here to stay in our small congregation, showing up each week with a new odd question that would take too long to answer during Sunday School, veering us from the carefully crafted lesson plan.

When I saw him at the Christmas Eve service, I guided my family to the other side of the sanctuary. No one was going to destroy this one moment. I deserved a holy night.

He stood up. And loudly, over the sound of the piano, bright as the candle that was dripping wax on my cardboard protector, yelled, “I am the light of the world!”

The piano stopped. We all looked at the far corner. We looked at his face that wasn’t anything like the others around us. We looked at his unkempt manners, at his rebellion. We looked. And we stared.

He stood up, interrupted our Christmas Eve service, and now commanded that we acknowledge him as the light of the world. How dare he.

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This fictional scene draws parallel to John 7:32-49. The Scripture tells us Jesus was at the Feast of Tabernacles. Each year, around October, the Jewish community gathered to watch the priest pour water on the altar, while the people chanted a prayer for God to send rains for the winter harvest. On the last day—“the greatest day”—the people walked around the temple seven times (like Jericho). It is this day that “Jesus stood and said in a loud voice ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him’” (John 7:37-38). It would be similar to someone standing up in the middle of “Silent Night” at a Christmas Eve service and proclaim themselves as the light of the world. Which, in fact, Jesus did in John 8:12. He declared himself as light of the world.

Meanwhile, “the Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him” (John 7:32) and were determining how to kick Jesus out of their club. Their conspiracies and overheard mumblings occurs before and after the feast.

And all the while, I wonder, how would I respond to such a rebel? If someone were to go against my traditions that were part of my religious routines, would I lay down those habits and follow his example, or would I shush him and ask him to sit? Am I a Pharisee or a Follower? When have I stood up?

I follow a rebel. Do you?

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Coaching and Mentoring

I sat at the conference, expecting to hear the answer to that question; The one question on my mind that didn’t go away. I didn’t hear it. I asked teams that were experts in the area the question. I didn’t hear an answer. I read research to see if I could answer the question. While writing the dissertation about mentoring, one gnawing question kept me asking the question: What is the definition of mentoring, and how does it differ from coaching?

Here’s where I ended up: The difference is not in the outcome, but in the process. Coaching, as differentiated from mentoring by the John Maxwell Team, is because coaching is built on questions that guide the participant to find the answer that comes from within the participant. Meanwhile, mentoring is more of a participant hearing of experiences from another externally from the participant. Using the example of another, that participant can craft and shape their own journey. Both require the participant to understand themselves and what comes naturally to them. The participant has a choice in both avenues.

Three years ago, I finished the dissertation, “Mentoring Generation X Women” about mentoring women to reach the next level of success, however they define success. While mentoring is still valid and useful, I’ve added to my repertoire coaching women in the nonprofit sector. No matter where a woman is positioned in the nonprofit sector, we can all use a person to ask thoughtful questions and expand our beliefs in dreams and future successes. Therefore, if you are a busy nonprofit professional woman looking for a dependable person to keep you accountable, ask the hard questions, and help you reach the next level of success in your career, contact me!

I help women in the nonprofit sector get unstuck and reach the next level of success–however they define success for themselves. Coaching isn’t the same as mentoring. While mentoring will instruct and guide you from my experience, coaching is my chance to ask you questions that unearths the answers that are most natural for you.

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Broken Road

“The highways are deserted, no travelers are on the roads.” Isaiah 33:8a

Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

One of my favorite wines is called “Ten Mile Broken Road.” It’s a nice blend. I’ve sipped it these past few months, looking out the patio window at the bridge.

The bridge is empty. Generally, the bridge has plenty of traffic. But, as the pandemic gained traction and the executive order to stay at home began, the bridge emptied. The sounds of airplanes were less frequent. The toot of a boat asking the bridge to raise became an anomaly.

Isaiah reminds us that this is not the first time that a road was empty. God often had to bring justice on a people that produced an empty route, a deserted highway, a broken road.

It is also an opportunity to assess where you are going. Perhaps not physically, but also in your personal and professional life. What values do you hold? How do they show up in your daily life? What broken roads or relationships need repair?

Let’s come out of the pandemic stronger and excited to hit the road.

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Followership and Glass Ceilings

Author’s note: This final post regarding leadership in a team made of people unique and diverse characteristics helps us understand how a follower can impact a leader’s life and leadership. Stay tuned for more blogs that will be less academic in nature.

Followership and Glass Ceilings

Followers are important people in a leader’s life. Followership is defined by how a person interacts with a pronounced leader (Crossman & Crossman, 2011). Followers can affect how leaders behave and respond, and perhaps even have influence on a leader. Followers can be active or passive and have specific traits that benefit the group (Crossman & Crossman, 2011). A leader who understands the traits of the followers can better lead the team, blending the types and using them as strengths can bring a new level of sophistication to a team (Begeç, 2013; Crossman & Crossman, 2011).

For example, understanding a minority follower who seems to behave in a passive manner could be a reflection of intolerance. Scholars have described the situation when a follower feels there is a limit to their potential as a “glass ceiling” (DeFrank-Cole, Latimer, Reed, & Wheatly, 2014; Ehrich, 1995; Morrison, 1992; Terri, 2005; Wilson, 2014). A lack of tolerance or inclusion can create a glass ceiling to those with potential to reach higher levels within an organization (Morrison, 1992). The situation hampers the minority group from being part of a diverse team because the organization lacks innovation on how to include diverse individuals within higher ranks (Crossman & Crossman, 2011). Leaders who are mindful of followers’ diversity and the effects it has on the broader organization can help break the glass ceiling.

Wilson (2014) decided it is wise for minorities to make an individual plan to break the glass ceiling into executive roles. Wilson (2014) also suggests organizations to meet minorities half way to achieve their plans. Leaders can encourage followers through organization channels. Gilbert et al. (1999) give the example of how the organization Xerox embraces minority followers and meets them half way. The organization includes training and focus groups where minority groups can speak directly to senior leadership. Even during times of layoffs, Xerox kept diversity a focus (Gilbert et al., 1999). Followers were the source of information, and Xerox made a point to make sure tolerance of diversity was acceptable (Gilbert et al., 1999). Tolerance helps inclusion of diverse followers.

It is the leader’s responsibility to help his or her followers work through conflicts that may arise because of a diversity issue (Begeç, 2013). A leader can bring a follower to be loyal to the organization by including others in the decision-making process and promoting team spirit (Begeç, 2013). This helps the individuals think beyond themselves, and focus the followers on the greater good (Begeç, 2013). The recommendation by Begeç (2013) is to have tolerance at every level by everyone of each other. Inclusivity can create solidarity among the followers.

As Kearney and Gebert (2009) state, leaders create a bond with the team members. The leader thinks of the team before themselves (Sendjaya & Sarros, 2010). The relationship between the leader and the followers becomes stronger. Followership effects opinions of diversity on a team (Ospina & Foldy, 2009). The actions, culture, and the situation often reflect the behaviors of other people (McGregor, 1944). A good leader will find a connection with a follower, beyond culture, age, gender, race, or other distinguishing characteristics. Keeping the follower at the center of the leader’s focus creates positive momentum for the follower and the leader.

References

Begeç, S. (2013). Effective diversity management initiatives.International Review of Management and Marketing, 3(2), 63.

Crossman, B., & Crossman, J. (2011). Conceptualising followership – a review of the literature. Leadership, 7, 481-497.

DeFrank-Cole, L., Latimer, M., Reed, M., & Wheatly, M. (2014). The women’s leadership initiative: One university’s attempt to empower females on campus. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 11(1), 50-63.

Ehrich, L. C. (1995). Professional mentorship for women educators in government schools.Journal of Educational Administration, 33(2), 69.

Kearney, E., & Gebert, D. (2009). Managing diversity and enhancing team outcomes: The promise of transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 77-89.

McGregor, D. (1944). Conditions of effective leadership in the industrial organization. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 8(2), 55-63. doi: 10.1037:h0056439

Morrison, A. M. (1992). New solutions to the same old glass ceiling.Women in Management Review, 7(4), 15.

Ospina, S., & Foldy, E. (2009). A critical review of race and ethnicity in the leadership literature: Surfacing context, power and the collective dimensions of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 20, (876-896).

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: It’s origin, development, and application in organizations.Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(2), 57-64.

Terri, M. B. (2005). Mentorship and the female college president. Sex Roles, 52(9-10), 659-666. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-3733-7

Wilson, E., M.A. (2014). Diversity, culture and the glass ceiling. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(3), 83-89.

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Leader Traits and Cultural Background

Traits can help or hinder a leader, just as culture can help or hinder a leader. Different characteristics can come from “gender, race, ethnicity, intelligence, sexual orientation, culture, nationality, religion, marital or parental status, position, department, union/nonunion” (Begeç, 2013, p. 64). A leader’s traits, like national culture, can impact how a leader guides the followers. Each person has different tendencies, which means not every leadership trait cannot be universal (Sanchez-Runde et al., 2011). Traits can vary based on the experiences and perceptions of a leader.

A minority leader may have a different experience or perception if the followers are of the majority group (Waters, 1992). The perceptions of a leader, whether the leader is part of the majority group or the minority group, could be from observing the actions and culture of another person (McGregor, 1994). The leader sees another’s behavior, weighs it against his or her previous experience, and then behaves accordingly (McGregor, 1944).

The leader’s behavior is exhibiting the leader’s traits or characteristics, which stems from the leader’s beliefs and values. Other influences such as the situation could modify the behaviors of a leader. The situation is a reflection of the behaviors of other people (McGregor, 1944). Therefore, recognizing diversity in another person can enhance the leader’s “inclusion of all individuals” (Gilbert et al., 1999, p. 61) and thus promote diversity. The leader needs to understand his or her characteristics and having such self-knowledge will enhance the leader’s inclusion of all individuals. The leader is self-aware of potential biases and notice other’s diversity.

Leadership in times of cultural diversity requires respect for another’s culture, but not losing the leader’s own culture in the process (Bueno et al., 2004). Based on experiences, being a self-aware leader can help the leader better respect different national cultures of those around the leader. For example, leadership in the west is a positive advantage, but in the east, leadership is correlated with cruel dictatorships (Sanchez-Runde, et al., 2011). Valued leaders in western cultures (Europe and the Americas) are “visible, and assertive” (Sanchez-Runde, et al., 2011, p. 207). In comparison, in Asian and far-eastern cultures, those characteristics offend followers.

A minority cultural background can differ from majority backgrounds (Ragins, 1997; Waters, 1992). Gilbert, Stead, and Ivancevich (1999) note even if organizations recruit minorities as followers, most likely those groups will assimilate into the majority culture because of the situation. A leader, as part of the majority, may conduct themselves in a way that is normal for their national culture. Sanchez-Runde et al. (2011) provide the example of an agenda for a meeting. Americans set agendas for meetings, and meeting participants leave the meeting with clear actions to perform. Meanwhile, Chinese do not set agendas, and instead allow objectives to naturally come out within “the flow” (Sanchez-Runde et al., 2011, p. 210) of the situation. If the American is the minority leader in China, the response from the followers may be different than at home. With knowledge of a diverse national culture, the American would quickly understand the need to wait, be passive in giving direction, and allow the “natural evolution of events” (Sanchez-Runde et al., 2011, p. 210). Determining if the characteristics and cultural background of a leader in a context unlike the leader’s own culture can move the person from being a manager to being a leader.

Conclusion

By understanding their own characteristics, cultural background, and the situation, a leader can raise a team that is ready to be successful. Leaders can promote diversity as a key element to any team success because the diversity creates new thoughts and solutions to complex issues.

References

Begeç, S. (2013). Effective diversity management initiatives.International Review of Management and Marketing, 3(2), 63.

Bueno, C. M., Antolin, G., & Tubbs, S. I. (2004). Identifying global leadership competencies: An exploratory study. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 80-85.

McGregor, D. (1944). Conditions of effective leadership in the industrial organization. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 8(2), 55-63. doi: 10.1037:h0056439

Ragins, B.R. (1997). Diversified mentoring relationships in organizations: A power perspective.Academy of Management The Academy of Management Review, 22(2), 482-521.

Sanchez-Runde, C., Nardon, L., & Steers, R. M. (2011). Looking beyond western leadership models: Implications for global managers. Organizational Dynamics, 40, 207-213.

Waters Jr., H. (1992). Minority leadership problems. Journal of Education for Business, 68(1), 15.

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Leading in Diverse Contexts

This is the third part of a series exploring leadership, diversity, and followership. In this blog, practical tips help take the empirical research and bring it to a real-world level.

Different contexts can impact how a leader guides those aiming for a specific target. Some options depend on the leader themselves and how cognizant that leader is of the group make-up. It is also possible to work within the organization’s structure to aid in leading a diverse team.

Working Within an Organization’s Structure

Many variables can affect the way the leader leads. One possible variable is working within the organization’s structure. Begeç (2013) suggests one approach of leaders working closely with the human resources department to incorporate diversity. With the support of the human resources department, the leader can include diversity into the strategic plan, mission statement, and code of ethics (Begeç, 2013; Gilbert et al., 1999). Human resource departments are one source of education about the culture of the organization and the workforce (DiStefano & Maznevski, 2000).

Some human resource departments measure how a leader responds to cultures unlike his or her own. Education programs, such as the Global Alliance for Transnational Education, requires a certification in a program such as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to help educators balance diversity (Greenholtz, 2000). The IDI is a 50-question self-assessment in which people understand more of their unconscious bias toward other cultures (DiStefano & Maznevski, 2000; Greenholtz, 2000). This instrument can help diverse people recognize bias they might hold. As an example, DiStefano and Maznevski (2000) recall a young Chinese C.P.A. who came to the United States. He seemed to agree with the recommendations of his superior during meetings, but not act accordingly afterward. The supervisor had taken the IDI instrument. Rather than immediately confronting the Chinese man as most Americans might, she realized openness to feedback is not inherent in the Chinese culture. Instead, during an off-site meeting, she apologized for her inappropriate understanding of his culture. His culture valued respect of his elders to the point of ignoring issues, saying yes to superiors no matter the cost, and smoothing over possible conflict quickly (DiStefano & Maznevski, 2000). Her leadership changed because the understanding her own cultural background and bias, which came from the IDI tool any human resources department can suggest.

Other ways the human resources department can help a leader lead through diverse contexts is for the department and the leader to be conscious of diversity during the hiring process. Morrison (1992) says leaders are mostly responsible for carrying out ways to make the workforce more diverse during hiring procedures and is “the single most important factor in the effectiveness of these organizations’ efforts” (p. 18). Leaders and the human resource departments working closely together during recruitment can avoid minority groups being accidently ignored (Wilson, 2014). Corporations can meet minorities half way by ensuring there is respect for cultural differences. Encouraging acceptance of diversity starts with the leader (Gilbert et al., 1999) with the support of the organization.

Adelman (1997) notes diversity training in higher education cannot be a separate event or class. It must be integrated into all courses and outside the classroom as a normal function of the college or university (Adelman, 1997). Often, admission departments carry the responsibility, rather than entire institutions (Adelman, 1997; Levine, 1991) to create a diverse environment. The leader must incorporate diversity as a measure in the mission statement, strategic documents, and ongoing training to have a variety of staff who will accept a variety of students (Begeç, 2013; Gilbert et al., 1999). The younger generation should see diversity as part of their daily lives, rather than a separate class or event (Adelman, 1997); The leader should model the behavior of understanding and learning (Begeç, 2013; Gilbert et al., 1999; Morrison, 1992).

Leading Teams

Without understanding how a specific group struggles with the group’s diversity, the leader can damage respect required to lead a diverse team (Bueno et al., 2004). Ospina and Foldy (2009) found those of a different race were treated as a “special case, rather than as the potential source for theorizing from within a particularly important social context” (p. 877). Some people with diverse characteristics is treated unequally and not valued for what the people of that population might contribute to the discussion. Hearing others without bias can expand the breadth of the conversation. Just as with other areas of diversity, the difference should not prohibit growth and possible solutions, but instead be leveraged to making a better team. Diversity can affect how teams interact with each other and the leader.

Followers and their diversity should be recognized as an enhancer to teams. Although diversity can exclude others, leaders can use diversity as an opportunity to include everyone.

References

Adelman, C. (1997). Diversity: Walk the walk, and drop the talk.Change, 29, 34-45.

Begeç, S. (2013). Effective diversity management initiatives.International Review of Management and Marketing, 3(2), 63.

Bueno, C. M., Antolin, G., & Tubbs, S. I. (2004). Identifying global leadership competencies: An exploratory study. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 80-85.

Crossman, B., & Crossman, J. (2011). Conceptualising followership – a review of the literature. Leadership, 7, 481-497.

DeFrank-Cole, L., Latimer, M., Reed, M., & Wheatly, M. (2014). The women’s leadership initiative: One university’s attempt to empower females on campus. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 11(1), 50-63.

DiPietro, R. B., Severt, D. E., Welsh, D. H., B., & Raven, P. V. (2008). Franchise leadership traits vs. manager leadership traits an exploratory study comparing hope, leadership, commitment and service quality delivery.International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 4(1), 63-78.

DiStefano, J. J. & Mazneyski, M. L. (2000). Creating value with diverse teams in global management. Organizational Dynamics, 29(1), 45-63.

Eberlin, R. J., & Tatum, B. C. (2008). Making just decisions: Organizational justice, decision making, and leadership.Management Decision, 46(2), 310-329. doi:2100/10.1108/00251740810854177

Ehrich, L. C. (1995). Professional mentorship for women educators in government schools.Journal of Educational Administration, 33(2), 69.

Greenholtz, J. (2000). Assessing cross-cultural competence in transnational education: The intercultural development inventory. Higher Education in Europe, 25(3), 411-416.

Holt, D. T., Markova, G., Dhaenens, A. J., Marler, L. E., & Heilmann, S. G. (2016). Formal or informal mentoring: What drives employees to seek informal mentors?Journal of Managerial Issues, 28(1), 67-82,6.

Kearney, E., & Gebert, D. (2009). Managing diversity and enhancing team outcomes: The promise of transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 77-89.

Levine, A. (1991). The meaning of diversity.Change, 23, 4.

McGregor, D. (1944). Conditions of effective leadership in the industrial organization. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 8(2), 55-63. doi: 10.1037:h0056439

Morrison, A. M. (1992). New solutions to the same old glass ceiling.Women in Management Review, 7(4), 15.

Ospina, S., & Foldy, E. (2009). A critical review of race and ethnicity in the leadership literature: Surfacing context, power and the collective dimensions of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 20, (876-896).

Ragins, B.R. (1997). Diversified mentoring relationships in organizations: A power perspective.Academy of Management The Academy of Management Review, 22(2), 482-521.

Sanchez-Runde, C., Nardon, L., & Steers, R. M. (2011). Looking beyond western leadership models: Implications for global managers. Organizational Dynamics, 40, 207-213.

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: It’s origin, development, and application in organizations.Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(2), 57-64.

Teo-Dixon, G., & Monin, N. (2007). Guru of gurus: Peter Drucker, logology, and the ultimate leader.Journal of Management Inquiry, 16(1), 6-17.

Terri, M. B. (2005). Mentorship and the female college president. Sex Roles, 52(9-10), 659-666. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-3733-7

Waters Jr., H. (1992). Minority leadership problems. Journal of Education for Business, 68(1), 15.

Wilson, E., M.A. (2014). Diversity, culture and the glass ceiling. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(3), 83-89.

Zacher, H., Rosing, K., and Frese, M. (2011). Age and leadership: The moderating role of legacy beliefs. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 43-50. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.12.006

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Diversity in Approach of Managers and Leaders

This post continues the thought process of leading in times where diverse characteristics are abundant and clearly identified in a group of people.

Although both a leader and a manager can make decisions, a leader is one whose decisions effect the entire organization (Eberlin & Tatum, 2008). The reaction and response to a follower might differ if the person is considered a manager or a leader.

A leader’s traits, behaviors, cultural backgrounds and situational factors can influence a leader’s effectiveness where diversity is present (Bueno, Antolin, & Tubbs, 2004; Sanchez-Runde, Nardon, & Steers, 2011). Comparing and contrasting managers and leaders show how diversity within a team can elicit different reactions from a manager or a leader (DiPietro, Severt, Welsh, & Raven, 2008; Kearney & Gebert, 2009; Ospina & Foldy, 2009; Zacher, Rosing, & Frese, 2010). If the people following a leader are different in their culture, race, religion, or other characteristics from the leader, the leader may have a different response (Begeç, 2013; Crossman & Crossman, 2011; Kearney & Gebert, 2009; Morrison, 1992; Ragins, 1997; Waters, 1992). Leaders characteristics can affect how they lead in diverse contexts and how they think about diverse followers.

Defining diversity is hard (Adelman, 1997; Levine, 1991) because experts do not agree on a definition. By looking at the different definitions of scholars, I offer a definition used for this paper. During the first part of this paper, a review of characteristics, cultural backgrounds, and situational factors describes the leader’s role in addressing diversity. Following this, a section identifies the differences between a leader and a manager. Understanding a leader’s vantage point over a manager can elevate the a review of leading in diverse contexts and the effect on followers. Leading in diverse contexts can affect leadership development as well. Diversity can affect leadership.

Managers Versus Leaders

A manager is defined by Eberlin and Tatum (2008) as a person who oversees a department. Kotter (1995) notes that leaders take into account the needs of the entire organization and looks for the need for change. Managers are focused on keeping the day-to-day systems running smoothly.

In contrast, a leader is one who is more concerned with the whole organization and less with the day-to-day tasks (Teo-Dixon & Monin, 2007). DiPietro et al. (2008) defined a leader as someone who saw change, demanded research and development, and were long-term strategic thinkers (DiPietro et al., 2008). Begeç (2013) says the goal of the leader is to help a team come together to be successful. Leaders may be assisted by recognizing how diversity can bring forth a better decision. The leader’s responsibility becomes working through difficulties and helping followers do the same with successful outcomes (DiPietro et al., 2008). In other words, a leader encourages others to a brighter future, while a manager makes sure that vision is implemented.

If a person starts to exhibit qualities that distinguishes them from others, who sets a vision and elevates themselves to hold a higher standard for everyone regardless of diversity within the team, the person displays leadership qualities (Teo-Dixon & Morin, 2007). For example, Zacher, Rosing, and Frese (2010) studied how a person might help a younger person develop. Leaders behaved in a way to influence their graduate researcher for the better (Zacher et al., 2010). Those who did not believe in leaving a legacy were generally passive-avoidant (Zacher et al., 2010). In this study, a leader possessed a quality to inspire by remembering his or her own legacy (Zacher et al., 2010). The behaviors of a leader have potential to influence another person.

In teams where diversity is present, the ability to influence others could be helpful. For leaders who want to leave an impact on the organization or the team, distinguishing themselves as a leader by influencing those around them has potential to bring a culture of inclusion. Managers who limited themselves to the task at hand did not think about the legacy they wished to leave behind and had more transactional interactions (Zacher et al., 2010). The manager can become task-focused and less interested in the transformation of another person. A follower may not apply their skills or talent, and instead would do the bare minimum of work (Holt, Markova, Dhaenens, Marler, & Heilmann, 2016) without a leader who sees the need to leave a legacy in another person. The personal involvement of a leader as opposed to a hierarchical relationship with a manager seems to be what leads to higher quality relationships between a leader and a follower (Zacher et al., 2010). Leaders being more legacy-minded and more empowering exemplifies the difference between a manager and a leader.

Leaders aware of the need for diversity efforts within an organization may lead differently than a manager. By being conscious of others and what makes them different, leaders can help create potential for inclusion. Diversity recognition starts with the leader (Begeç, 2013; Gilbert et al., 1999; Morrison, 1992) but can be amplified by including others by training staff on how to tolerate diversity. Managers, caught in the day to day operations, may miss chances to change the organization and implement visions that become a catalyst for including diverse people (Kotter, 1995). Managers might be restricted by time and other resources to impart a legacy into others (Zacher et al., 2010). Meanwhile, leaders tend to include a multitude of others to make diversity acceptable. Leaders, and how they lead in diverse contexts, is described in detail below.

Conclusion

By understanding their own characteristics, cultural background, and the situation, a leader can raise a team that is ready to be successful. Leaders can promote diversity as a key element to any team success because the diversity creates new thoughts and solutions to complex issues. A leader must know and understand followers and the follower’s diversity. Likewise, followers and their diversity should be recognized as an enhancer to teams. Although diversity can exclude others, leaders can use diversity as an opportunity to include everyone.

References

Adelman, C. (1997). Diversity: Walk the walk, and drop the talk.Change, 29, 34-45.

Begeç, S. (2013). Effective diversity management initiatives.International Review of Management and Marketing, 3(2), 63.

Bueno, C. M., Antolin, G., & Tubbs, S. I. (2004). Identifying global leadership competencies: An exploratory study. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 80-85.

Crossman, B., & Crossman, J. (2011). Conceptualising followership – a review of the literature. Leadership, 7, 481-497.

DeFrank-Cole, L., Latimer, M., Reed, M., & Wheatly, M. (2014). The women’s leadership initiative: One university’s attempt to empower females on campus. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 11(1), 50-63.

DiPietro, R. B., Severt, D. E., Welsh, D. H., B., & Raven, P. V. (2008). Franchise leadership traits vs. manager leadership traits an exploratory study comparing hope, leadership, commitment and service quality delivery.International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 4(1), 63-78.

DiStefano, J. J. & Mazneyski, M. L. (2000). Creating value with diverse teams in global management. Organizational Dynamics, 29(1), 45-63.

Eberlin, R. J., & Tatum, B. C. (2008). Making just decisions: Organizational justice, decision making, and leadership.Management Decision, 46(2), 310-329. doi:2100/10.1108/00251740810854177

Ehrich, L. C. (1995). Professional mentorship for women educators in government schools.Journal of Educational Administration, 33(2), 69.

Greenholtz, J. (2000). Assessing cross-cultural competence in transnational education: The intercultural development inventory. Higher Education in Europe, 25(3), 411-416.

Holt, D. T., Markova, G., Dhaenens, A. J., Marler, L. E., & Heilmann, S. G. (2016). Formal or informal mentoring: What drives employees to seek informal mentors?Journal of Managerial Issues, 28(1), 67-82,6.

Kearney, E., & Gebert, D. (2009). Managing diversity and enhancing team outcomes: The promise of transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 77-89.

Levine, A. (1991). The meaning of diversity.Change, 23, 4.

McGregor, D. (1944). Conditions of effective leadership in the industrial organization. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 8(2), 55-63. doi: 10.1037:h0056439

Morrison, A. M. (1992). New solutions to the same old glass ceiling.Women in Management Review, 7(4), 15.

Ospina, S., & Foldy, E. (2009). A critical review of race and ethnicity in the leadership literature: Surfacing context, power and the collective dimensions of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 20, (876-896).

Ragins, B.R. (1997). Diversified mentoring relationships in organizations: A power perspective.Academy of Management The Academy of Management Review, 22(2), 482-521.

Sanchez-Runde, C., Nardon, L., & Steers, R. M. (2011). Looking beyond western leadership models: Implications for global managers. Organizational Dynamics, 40, 207-213.

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: It’s origin, development, and application in organizations.Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(2), 57-64.

Teo-Dixon, G., & Monin, N. (2007). Guru of gurus: Peter Drucker, logology, and the ultimate leader.Journal of Management Inquiry, 16(1), 6-17.

Terri, M. B. (2005). Mentorship and the female college president. Sex Roles, 52(9-10), 659-666. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-3733-7

Waters Jr., H. (1992). Minority leadership problems. Journal of Education for Business, 68(1), 15.

Wilson, E., M.A. (2014). Diversity, culture and the glass ceiling. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(3), 83-89.

Zacher, H., Rosing, K., and Frese, M. (2011). Age and leadership: The moderating role of legacy beliefs. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 43-50. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.12.006

© 2020, Mollie Bond

Defining Diversity

When I was living in a nationally diverse neighborhood in a metropolitan city, I learned the value of diverse experiences. I heard languages I couldn’t identify while on a bus or a train. I’d welcome the experience because I have the opportunity to learn something new, try something new, experience something new. You could say it was a new beginning. (Read more about my “word of the year” in the Beginnings post from February 2019.)

This is part one of a multi-part blog series on diversity, based on some papers written while I was in school. In this first blog post, we’ll look at diversity, and what it actually means. Later, we’ll look at the differences between a leader and a manager, leading in diverse contexts, and the concept of followership. Diversity can affect leadership and should be understood to build the best teams.

Preface: I’m not an expert, I’m usually part of the majority culture, and I’m not advocating one position or another. But perhaps by learning from experts, we can all open up to a new beginning.

Defining Diversity

Before looking at this further, it is important to define diversity. Defining diversity is hard (Adelman, 1997; Levine, 1991) because experts do not agree on a definition. A leader who must lead a team where no one is alike (Adelman, 1997; Levine, 1991) should consider how to define diversity to overcome the potential offensiveness by excluding a specific group. Experts use different frameworks for understanding the term “diversity.” Wilson (2014) defines diversity as “variety” (p. 83). Adelman (1997) uses the term “common-sense equity” (p. 37) to help readers overcome the alienation the term diversity brings. For this series, the framework to define diversity is creating “greater inclusion of all individuals” (Gilbert, Stead, & Ivancevich, 1999, p. 61). Using this framework allows the reader to understand why leaders should include all individuals within their teams, and what value including team members might bring. By using the terminology “inclusion” (Gilbert et al., 1999, p. 61), the characteristics of a leader will reveal how a person leads in contexts of diversity.

Research shows that a leader’s traits, behaviors, cultural backgrounds and situational factors can influence a leader’s effectiveness where diversity is present (Bueno, Antolin, & Tubbs, 2004; Sanchez-Runde, Nardon, & Steers, 2011). If the people following a leader are different in their culture, race, religion, or other characteristics from the leader, the leader may have a different response (Begeç, 2013; Crossman & Crossman, 2011; Kearney & Gebert, 2009; Morrison, 1992; Ragins, 1997; Waters, 1992).

A leader has experiences that cultivate his or her perspective on diversity and how he or she leads. Some leaders may not recognize a follower’s differences. If the leader does not comprehend another person’s diversity, it limits the leader because he or she does not understand the need for all types of opinion and experiences (Gilbert et al., 1999; Waters, 1992). A leader can recognize his or her own characteristics, cultural backgrounds, and situations. If a leader recognizes his or her own diversity, a leader might be more cognizant of diversity in others. Leaders who have a respect for diversity and followers of diverse backgrounds can be better leaders (Gilbert et al., 1999).

Next week we’ll look at how this definition fits into the practice of leadership (as opposed to a manager).

References

Adelman, C. (1997). Diversity: Walk the walk, and drop the talk.Change, 29, 34-45.

Begeç, S. (2013). Effective diversity management initiatives.International Review of Management and Marketing, 3(2), 63.

Bueno, C. M., Antolin, G., & Tubbs, S. I. (2004). Identifying global leadership competencies: An exploratory study. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 80-85.

Crossman, B., & Crossman, J. (2011). Conceptualising followership – a review of the literature. Leadership, 7, 481-497.

Kearney, E., & Gebert, D. (2009). Managing diversity and enhancing team outcomes: The promise of transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 77-89.

Levine, A. (1991). The meaning of diversity.Change, 23, 4.

Morrison, A. M. (1992). New solutions to the same old glass ceiling.Women in Management Review, 7(4), 15.

Ragins, B.R. (1997). Diversified mentoring relationships in organizations: A power perspective.Academy of Management The Academy of Management Review, 22(2), 482-521.

Sanchez-Runde, C., Nardon, L., & Steers, R. M. (2011). Looking beyond western leadership models: Implications for global managers. Organizational Dynamics, 40, 207-213.

Waters Jr., H. (1992). Minority leadership problems. Journal of Education for Business, 68(1), 15.

Wilson, E., M.A. (2014). Diversity, culture and the glass ceiling. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(3), 83-89.

© 2020, Mollie Bond