Leading Across Cultures

I just spent 11 days in Germany and the Austrian Alps and during my time there saw a great example of how to lead across different cultures that I thought would be perfect to share.    While in Austria, we went a long hiking tour of the Alps.  The hiking tour was led by an American man who had moved to Austria 20 years ago so was fully embedded in their culture.  His name was George and on the day of the hike, as the group began to gather, I started to wonder how George would effectively lead us all through a four-hour hike up through a mountain side of the Alps.

The group was made up of a variety of people including Americans, Europeans, Asians and Arabians.  There were different languages being spoken and the age range of the group went from teenagers to people in their early 60’s.  In addition, we were all in different physical condition.  I was quite curious as to how George would successfully lead such a diverse group through our hike of the Alps; however, from when he first started to speak to the group, it was clear he was the leader and would not have any trouble leading us through the day.

Why was this clear?   There were three key things that George displayed: a confident attitude, the posture of a leader, and strong interpersonal skills.   These are the traits that seemed to transcend cultural differences and get us through our four-hour hike of the Alps.

So, how did George display these characteristics?   (Check back on Friday for the continuation of the post!)

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