29 January 2006

Leadership and diversity


At the core of the position of a leader is diversity. The leader does not only has to deal with diversity daily, but his existence means diversity, because he is different from all other members of his organization.

The word diversity is being used for many different aspects and activities within an organization.
The government for example expects organizations to employ several kinds of citizens, employee diversity. The expectation is, that the leader will answer the governments quest for diversity. But what answer could a leader give? (A reason to work on creating a divers workforce, is that multi cultural organizations have more success than mono cultural.)
The organization itself expects the leader to poses an arsenal of reactions that fit almost every situation. In every situation his reactions have to create the right effect, a divers arsenal of reactions in leadership. But which reactions are the most effective in which situation?
The consumer expects that an organization sells products that fit his wishes, a diversity of products. How can a leader make those consumer wishes come true and at the same time keep all those wishes separated?
Employees expect a divers array of jobs, functions, tasks and responsibilities. What can a leader do to create all this diversity? (Although all those different products consumers want, create a lot of diversity in jobs.)
The suppliers expect the organization to be able to address a myriad of delivery forms and payment possibilities. How could a leader keep all these differences apart? (What if he tried to find employees that address the specific wishes of suppliers?)
Banks expect an organization to answer a range of questions about their financial situation and follow several rules before they can loan money. How does a leader answer all these questions? (Should he do it himself of find others to help him? And should this help be external or internal?)
The Internal revenue service expects a company to follow a divers set of rules that govern accounting and tax payment. Those a leader need to know all those rules? (What should be done by himself and what can be done by others?)
Stake holders in the organization expect the leader to give the right leadership, so its effects on her surroundings may be positive. Can a leader create this effect on his own and how? (Could he select the right employees who will follow his example?)
Shareholders expect a yearly returning positive return on investment and climbing share prices. Can a leader answer their question of is he to dependent on the market, employees and other external factors?

Diversity is really the central axiom of the function of a leader in an organization. But what is the best way to address diversity?

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