Leadership styles are based on the balance and overlapping of several core leadership frameworks (Styles, n.d.). According to Beck (2012), leadership effectiveness requires development in order to be aware of self-emotions, have control over these emotions, have empathy, and extend sound judgment. The value set of every leader is the basis from which their leadership styles develop and transition. Christmas (2011) states these values are influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors that shape the leaders of the times during a period of celebratory, visionary, and inclusive leadership transformation. It is through the transition and balance of leading and managing that the conscious and collaborative leadership processes are fostered for success.
According to Schwerin (2012), this process is self-awareness or the conscious state and is
an essential quality for successful leadership. Conscious leadership is a state of mind, the
authenticity of being who they are (Wood, n.d.). It helps leaders understand their strengths and
weakness and provides a foundation to reexamine and modify their conscious level leadership
behavior (Schwerin, 2012). The conscious leader trusts in the union of people and systems.
Conscious leaders experience authentic power that is internally based. According to Wood
(n.d.), they have a freedom that enables them to see beyond their own beliefs, opinions,
judgments, and values. The conscious leader listens from an open heart and encourages those
who have a different reality to express their views, fully and frankly (Wood, n.d.). They
continue to learn and understand the vital nature of diversity (Wood, n.d.).
Komives, Mainella, Owen, Osteen, & Longerbeam (2005) discussed the grounded theory
of leadership identity as a six-stage developmental process as depicted in Figure 1. The
transitional stages in leadership identity are awareness, exploration-engagement, leader
identified, leadership differentiated, generativity, and integration-synthesis. The participants in
their study described their leadership identity as moving from a leader-centric view to one that
embraces leadership as a collaborative and relational process and is central to the conscious and
relational leader (Komives, et al., 2005).
Figure 1: Developing a Leadership Identity: Illustrating the Cycle
According to Komives, et al. (2005), participants in the study revealed the dynamic process
of developing a leadership identity based on different experiences, new awareness of themselves
in a leadership context at different ages, and identified various ways their experiences and
context affected them. The essential development influences that fostered the development of a
leadership identity included adult influences, peer influences, meaningful involvement, and
reflective learning (Komives, et al., 2005). Developing oneself included a deepening self-
awareness, building self-confidence, establishing interpersonal efficacy, applying new skills, and
expanding motivation. The developing self category interacted with the category of group
influences where engaging in groups, learning from membership continuity, and changing
perceptions of groups influenced a person's leadership identity.
Leadership identity, according to Komives, et al. (2005), is the cumulative confidence in
one’s ability to engage with others to accomplish group objectives where a relational leadership
identity appears to be a sense of self as one who believes that groups are comprised of
interdependent members who do collaborative, relational leadership. As the group developed
themselves throughout the stages, they changed their perceptions of groups and their roles within
The study noted the engagement in groups and feedback from group members informed the
development of themselves as individuals shaping their individual awareness of who they were
in relation to others. Their changing view of self with others had a direct bearing on their
broadening view of leadership. Komives, et al. (2005) stated that those who viewed their
interdependence with those around them viewed leadership as a relational process and leaders as
anyone in the group who were contributing and collaborating in the process.
Boyatzis & McKee (2005) state that cultivating the capacity for mindfulness requires a
process of intentional change to develop ourselves – deliberate, focused identification of our
personal vision and our current reality, and conscious creation of engaging in a learning agenda.
This leadership role challenge requires leaders to engage in a conscious process of renewal both
on a daily basis and over time. Boyatzis & McKee (2005) state that leaders need to transform
their approach to managing themselves and to learn new behaviors and practices that enable
sustainability of internal resonance and attunement with those they lead. According to Wood
(n.d.), the consciousness shapes the leadership thinking resulting in change because individuals
see a need to grow, learn, and change their behavior (Kezar, 2001).
According to Legault (2012), horizontal and vertical growths are two-dimensional aspects
to development. Horizontal growth occurs through exposure to life and its many learning
processes. Horizontal development is the most common dimension due to the learning, training,
and development practices. The focus is on expanding, deepening, and enriching one’s current
way of making logic of the world. Vertical growth does not occur as often and is more powerful
than horizontal growth because it transforms a person’s way of making sense toward taking a
broader perspective and creates new ways for adults to think, feel, and act (Legault, 2012).
Legault (2012) describes successive stages or levels of learning that integrates prior stages
into a more complex structure forming a tiered system. The first tier stages leaders at a pre-
conventional level guided by their needs resulting in egocentric behavior. Conventional leaders
at the second tier take on socio-centric or ethno-centric view where concern for others is limited
to their immediate circle, workgroup, family, company, or nation. Legault (2012) further
discusses the last tier as leaders in a post-conventional level taking on a world-centric view that
encompasses the entire planet.
Turner (n.d.) identified six levels of leadership consciousness that a leader transitions
through in the tiered system: diplomat, expert, achiever, individual, collaborator, and servant.
Turner (n.d.) stated the diplomat acts to fit into work and social groups, meet others’ standards,
behave correctly, and maintain face and status. The expert is interested in what unique skills
they have that enable them to stand out from the group; however, they still define themselves in
terms of the group. Turner (n.d.) shows that the achiever is interested in other viewpoints, in
working effectively, and in achieving results.
The individualist’s key personal transition is in moving the source of authority in their lives
from being external to internal making this shift the start of a new phase of the leadership
journey (Turner, n.d.). As the collaborative transitions through the fifth level, they become
clearer about who they are and what unique qualities and skills they bring in the stage. They
tend to look out into the world to find ways of using their gifts and uniqueness as they step into
the collaborator phase (Turner, n.d.).
The ability of individuals to build relationships is a definitive factor in determining the
success or failure of leaders (Lester, 2011) across all divides. The collaborative leadership style
uses influence, not authority; creates open work environment without fear where people want to
work; keeps the purpose and vision alive; frees the team to question, analyze and investigate; and
operates with integrity and authenticity (Pixton, n.d.). A collaborative leadership approach is a
paradigm shift from a traditional leader to one that shares participative leadership and decision
making at all levels and in multiple decision processes for its members (Lari, 2011). Successful
collaboration often starts with one collaborative leader who identifies and convenes regularly a
collaborative leadership team that focuses overall on the organization’s goals and objectives
(Ohio, n.d.). It allows for the consideration of all viewpoints and enables all members’ ideas and
contributions to matter (Lari, 2011).
Collaboration requires group decisions at all levels, sharing of all information, a process
to stimulate the generation of ideas, team definition of accountability and self-selection, allowing
mistakes – expecting success, and the matching of talent and interests with responsibilities
(Pixton, n.d.). Collaborative leadership is effective for creating an environment conducive to
meeting the social and economic changes confronting organizations and the world (Yukl, 2010).
The facilitation of collaboration requires new types of leadership styles and structures. It
requires new leadership, management, and governance structures involving team approaches
rather than single person approaches. Collaborative leadership offers a new way to solve old
problems and take advantage of untapped opportunities by mobilizing collective expertise,
clarifying problems, resolving conflicts, and building consensus to act (Ohio, n.d.).
A high degree of intention to change the culture to one of caring and collaboration
demonstrates a transformational leadership model where relationship building is essential to the
role of the leader (Lari, 2011). Proven results of collaborative leadership has seen increased
productivity, a shared commitment to departmental goals, and improved quality of programs.
The greatest benefit of a shared leadership approach is a favorable impact on the preparation of
future leaders. According to Raelin (2003), a leader’s work is not to get people to comply but to
engage them, to support them, and keep the field clear so they can do meaningful work (Lari,
2011). Collaborative leadership is most effective when designed systematically to meet the
needs of a changing culture.
The sixth level of the conscious leadership dynamic element is the servant phase. This
stage finds the servant leader becoming increasingly integrated with their interpersonal skills as a
conscious shift takes place and a systems perspective emerges. This is the sustainability phase.
The servant leader acts to promote quality of life internationally by influencing positive change
relative to equality, conflict resolution, creative technology, and ecology (Turner, n.d.)
Servant leaders form mutually beneficial relationships with employees, customers,
suppliers, community, and the larger society. They balance their time and are motivated by
service to create a sustainable future for humanity and the planet (Turner, n.d.). This final level
of leadership consciousness enables a leader to reassess their conscious level and transition to a
corresponding stage while sustaining their leadership journey.
New ventures in conducting business require new ways to lead, manage, and govern that
promotes collaborative leadership. Leadership and management challenges will require the skills
of a conscious and collaborative leader for success (Lash, 2012). Collaborative leaders that
support and promote collaboration environments build the cultural elements of trust, sharing,
goals, innovation, environment, collaborative chaos, constructive confrontation, communication,
community, and value (Mays, 2007). Building collaboration requires setting clear goals and
objectives that are specific, measurable, and achievable. Along with the building process, Mays
(2007) states leadership behaviors must be consciously inclusive, empowering, purposeful,
ethical, and process-oriented. It is imperative to provide leadership in building relationships
among the people and organizations to fulfill one’s core purpose (Mays, 2007).
Leading during times of great changes and challenging realities requires leadership that is
assertive in expected and desired outcomes, examines logical opportunities and potential pitfalls,
and embraces and ensures changes are consistent and supportive of the personal and
organizational beliefs and values of the employees and the business constituencies (McFarlane,
et al., 2011). The conscious and collaborative leader is a vital part of key factors including
context, follower, and outcomes (MindTools, n.d.) that add to the success or failure of a dynamic
and ongoing leadership progression.
Ferdig (2007) states that sustainability leadership reflects an emerging consciousness
among people who are choosing to live their lives and lead their organizations in ways that
account for their impact on the earth, society and the health of local and global economies. The
role of the conscious leader includes capabilities beyond those we currently attribute to leaders,
foremost learning what it means to be a leader with others instead of leadership of or over others
Leaders who strive to develop themselves can have a meaningful effect on developing
others towards a successful leader (Beck, 2012). Gutek (2011) states all leadership begins with
self-leadership through discipline and precision. It is emphasized that leadership authority rests
in the balance of relationships they form with the people they lead. Beck (2012) asserts that
being mindful of your words and actions and being persistent in your efforts, your effectiveness
and impact as a leader will increase.
Lord (2005) states when we grow as people and value more of our true selves, our true
capabilities, and our true potential -- we naturally become greater catalysts for the growth of all
those around us including the organizations and societies that are socially constructed. The
conscious and collaborative leader forms a self-awareness of behaviors, thoughts, actions, and
communication. The need to develop conscious leaders has never been greater for organizations
to deal with the complexity of the global economic environment and create opportunities for a
sustainable future (Legault, 2012). The conscious leader inspires and evolves prominence, trusts
in themself and others, and seeks an infinite opportunity to grow and learn. Accordingly, the
conscious leader is inner-directed, leading with presence and serving those who follow.
Conscious leadership starts with a fundamental shift in how leaders perceive reality calling for
greater self-awareness and a more expansive leadership mind-set and world view (Anderson &
Ackerman, 2011). The conscious and collaborative leadership elements are influencing factors
in the effective and successful balance of the dynamic leadership progression.
Anderson, D., & Ackerman-Anderson, L. (2011). Conscious change leadership: Achieving
breakthrough results. Leader to Leader, 62, 51-59. Retrieved from
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Christmas, K. (2009). The year of positive leadership. Retrieved from
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Change Management, 7(1), 25-35. Retrieved from
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Kezar, A. (2001). Understanding and facilitating change in higher education in the 21st century.
ERIC Digest. Retrieved from http://www.ericdigests.org/2002-2/21st.htm
Komives, S., Mainella, F., Owen, J., Osteen, L., & Longerbeam, S. (2005). Developing a
leadership identity: A grounded theory. Journal of College Student Development, 46(6),
593-611. Retrieved from http://nclp.umd.edu/include/pdfs/lidjcsd1105.pdf
Lari, A. (2011). Using a collaborative leadership model in a teaching education program.
American Journal of Educational Studies, 4(1). Retrieved from
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Lash, R. (2012). The collaboration imperative. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved from
Legault, M. (2012). Conscious capitalism: Leaders and organizations with a world view.
Integral Leadership Review, 12(2), 1-9. Retrieved form
Lester, N. (2011). Relationship building: understanding the extent and value. Education in
Rural Australia. Retrieved from
Lord, J.G. (2005). Philanthropic Quest International. Retrieved from
Mays, C. (2007). Recognizing the need for collaboration. Techniques. Retrieved from
McFarlane, F., Schroeder, F., Enriquez, M., & Dew, D. (2011). How do we lead when change is
constant? The Journal of Rehabilitation. Retrieved from
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Collaborative Leadership. Retrieved from
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Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in organizations (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice Hall.
About the author:
Laura Perrymond is a Training Manager for county government. She is also a veteran having served in the U.S. Army. She received her Bachelor's degree from City University and an Associate degree from Pierce College. She will receive her Master's degree (MA-Leadership) from City University this May. You can email Laura at Perl35@hotmail.com
This material is copyright protected. No part of this document may be reproduced, in any form or by any means without permission from weLEAD Incorporated. Copyright waiver may be acquired from the weLEAD website.
Leadership styles are based on the balance and overlapping of several core leadership frameworks (Styles, n.d.). According to Beck (2012), leadership effectiveness requires development in order to be aware of self-emotions, have control over these emotions, have empathy, and extend sound judgment. The value set of every leader is the basis from which their leadership styles develop and transitiLaura Perrymond Articles
Leaders are transitioning into the global arena at a greater frequency than ever before. This is the ideal time to address how to approach this transitioning. This article will briefly describe the utilization of cross-cultural transitioning as opposed to mere cross-border transitioning.
It has been stated again and again: most organizations are more global than local. When one considers the vendors with which an organization deals or the employees they hire or the software they utilize, there is a global flavor and dimension to even the smallest enterprise. However, there are legitimate events that occur that cause organizations to begin planning to take their actual operations global. Rising costs of resources, transportation issues, political conflicts, fluid tax regulations and an impoverished talent pool are but a few of the obstacles that may best be overcome by crossing business borders and becoming a truly global organization.
Crossing business borders as well as cultural borders may seem to be a daunting task when it is first approached. That need not be so. Moving to global operations requires some fundamental actions on the part of the manager(s) involved, but it can be accomplished. Briefly, consider the broad, sweeping moves that will be necessary when beginning the new global initiative. Why change operations at all? Identify the reasons behind the global expansion. Reduced transportation costs from factory to end user are a real concern; becoming global just because IBM is global is not a justifiable cause. Where shall the new operations be located? There’s no point in setting up the latest factory in Bangladesh if your customer base is in Switzerland; try moving a little closer. Bangladeshi prices may be just wonderfully affordable but the cost of getting product to consumer will be astronomical — donkeys have to eat as well. Is there a talent resource pool that can be easily accessed or do you have to know the Prince’s son-in-law to get the best people? These are but some of the logistical questions that must be answered when expanding globally. However, global expansion is much more than just spending the money and setting up shop in another land. The remainder of this article will address the most important aspect of global organizational expansion: the cultural crossing.
While crossing business borders can be daunting enough (remember those donkeys), crossing cultural borders is infinitely more exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Nuance plays such a critical role here. Glances and gestures, the position of the eyes or the posture of the body can all be communicative devices if one knows what it all means. Unfortunately, for most North American business people, these things mean nothing; only direct confrontation makes sense. This is understandable as these are the cultural lenses through which most North Americans peer. Though North Americans seem dominant on the global stage; this is often a cultural misunderstanding. In North American business schools and cultures, one is taught to be direct in communication with others. Those who work specifically for one manager are often referred to as “directs.” However, being direct in this manner will often derail an intercultural business proposition before it ever has the opportunity to be examined. In truth, one of the best instructions for North Americans breeching the cultural walls of global business is to “close mouth and listen.”
Having drive and initiative is often a highly desired trait in business. Initiative can actually erect barriers as one enters into global business relationships. Firoz, Maghrabi, and Kim, state, “research indicates that most management techniques are not portable and that cultural-specific training is desperately needed within the ranks of multinational organizations.” In other words, leaders do not rise to the place of global leadership without developing certain techniques that work for them in their current management arena, yet these very techniques may need to be “un-learned,” and new techniques developed in the global business scope. Communication is one place where this variance is clearly noted. Many people in other cultures operate in a “shame” or “face-saving” manner. Direct disagreement will virtually never occur as this may cause the new manager to lose face and cause the direct report to lose face if she is wrong. Instead, indirect communication is likely to take place. For example, the direct report may refer to a non-existent third party in order to place any possible shame on a party that cannot be injured. Again, remaining silent and listening often prove to be the very best means of leading.
Beginning an international venture is much like returning to college. One often learns the most by remaining silent, taking careful notes and practicing excellent listening skills. Additionally, developing intimate relationships with “locals” will give one a mentor to which to turn prior to making a cultural misstep. Global leaders “consciously seek out a sophisticated understanding of how complex data fit together, an understanding that has to be lived, not taught.” Global leaders will value the additional education that is needed to success on this level and will earnestly pursue opportunities that will allow them to improve their global “I.Q.” “Global leaders observe, deliberate, and ponder. They know that reflection, or meditative thinking, ‘does not just happen by itself.’”(Ibid, p 58) It is out of this observation and reflection that global leaders grow and eventually succeed.
By being inquisitive and committed to continual learning, the global leader takes charge of her success and direction. She continually seeks to know more about the culture she inhabits and compares those studies to that which she currently practices. This only happens with intentionality. The global leader understands that “the learning process of individuals in a cross-cultural context requires the creative destruction of barriers to learning and the broadening of access to new sources of knowledge and experience.” Destroying the barriers to learning is often no more than opening up oneself to that which is unfamiliar and agreeing to examine it from the understanding that a difference in leading does not necessarily indicate an inherent wrongness in either approach. It is vitally important for the global leader to allow herself to be a sponge for absorbing the information and cultural clues that will present themselves as she observes the characteristics of doing business in her new culture. By not allowing oneself to exhibit prejudice for one’s own business acumen and understanding that there are numerous ways of doing things across the world; a global leader will develop into one whose specialty is the reinterpretation of techniques so that they may cross cultural barriers and borders. Herein lays the value of the truly global leader: that she can adapt the strategies and policies of her global corporation to the culture in which business is conducted without diluting the strategy or denigrating the culture.
Unending learning will be the global executive’s lifelong associate, servant and guide. It is impossible to place a value on the outcomes that will arise out of this commitment to learning. Developing this habit of continual learning; learning to be found in every circumstance and not halls of education alone, will lead to success in every aspect of life: business, family, and faith. The path toward global leadership must begin at the restructuring of assumptions. One does not reach this level of executive success by virtue of technique, but by a propensity to know what one knows and what one does not know. This follows along the lines of Kolb’s research (1984) concerning experiential learning theory (ELT). “[One] reason to enlist ELT to understand cross-cultural learning lies in its focus on the interactive nature of person and environment in the learning process.” It seems simplistic but often global executive development is of the nature of “diving in and finding out.”
To summarize, the global executive faces one of the most exciting and enduring experiences available to business leaders: that of experiencing a culture different from one’s own and learning to develop one’s technique and style of management within the context of a culture composed of people, laws, governments, and structures that are different by far from what one knows. With this exciting opportunity come challenges and barriers to try the hearts of the strongest individual. By combining the traits of effective listening, experiential learning, inquisitiveness, relational development and pre-developed business and management skills; the global executive will be one of those fortunate few who truly can leave an impression in the global landscape by virtue of their presence. The first step is to close mouth and open ears allowing one to be influenced by her new culture prior to her influencing said culture. There are very few more rewarding experiences than to transform oneself from the selfish and prototypical American business executive into a global executive success.
About the author:
Ralph Johnson is a student at Regent University
This material is copyright protected. No part of this document may be reproduced, in any form or by any means without permission from weLEAD Incorporated. Copyright waiver may be acquired from the weLEAD website.
 Firoz, Nadeem, Ahmad S. Maghrabi, and Ki Hee Kim. “Think Globally, Manage Culturally” International Journal of Commerce and Management, 2002, Vol.12 No. 3 & 4.
 Black, J. Stewart, Allen J. Morrison, and Hal B. Gregersen, Global Explorers: The Next Generation of Leaders, New York: Routledge, 1999. Page 56
 Gahfoor, Shahzad, Fukhaia Kaka Khail, Uzair Farooq Khan, and Faiza Hassan, “An Exploratory Analysis of Experiential Narratives and Implications for Management, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, June 2011, Vol 3 No 2
 Yamazaki, Yoshitaka and D. Christopher Kayes, “An Experiential Approach to Cross-Cultural Learning: A Review and Integration of Competencies for Successful Expatriate Adaptation,: Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2004, Vol 3 No 4.
Leaders are transitioning into the global arena at a greater frequency than ever before. This is the ideal time to address how to approach this transitioning. This article will briefly describe the utilization of cross-cultural transitioning as opposed to mere cross-border transitioning. It has been stated again and again: most organizations are more global thaRalph E. Johnson Articles
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