"True diversity can be achieved when all members of an organization
share one high value that can embrace all other values."
“Leadership” and “diversity” are one of hottest words of today’s business world that play a decisive role. Leaders of organization are often under pressure to show a nice leadership that accommodates the diversity within the organization, and when leaders do it as expected, they are called as a fair and authentic leader. Yes. We, as a human, want to be a good leader always. However, sometimes it is very hard because of diversity. And culture create a conflict by having a greater claim than the goal of the organization. Sometimes it becomes a very tough issues to handle. And it eventually becomes double-edged sword to leaders by critical reasoning the leader or by delaying implementation of business strategy.
Do we need to play particular type of leadership to deal with this? Or diversity, culture are negative factors to leadership? No. this article is not to say that diversity is wrong or to talk about bunch of leadership theories. This is just to show an example of how your own leadership can be played within context of diversity in the sinking boat using this movie.
Kingdom of heaven is the movie about the time of crusade war in middle-ages and the story is mainly about the siege of holy land “Jerusalem” between Christian and Muslim army. In the movie, the main stage of the movie. “Jerusalem” is described as a place with full of people with different hierarchy, religion, nationalities but living together. A blacksmith named Balian has landed on the Jerusalem and soon became a defender of Jerusalem as a knight after wise Christian King Baldwin has died by this leprosy.
Balian had limited resource to defend Jerusalem. However, a bigger problem came from the culture and diversity of the people. Diverse ranges of regions, cultures, nationalities, hierarchy that have been well matched under the peace have caused a conflict when faced with extreme situation. And it clashed with the strategic goal of the organization at the end. Balian wanted to win the battles as many as possible but it wasn’t to win the war. What he wanted to achieve was to bring the King Saladin out to the negotiation table with good terms, so he can surrender Jerusalem to save the innocent life of the people who living inside. So, he decided to challenge culture and diversity of what people have to create the higher value above all using his own leadership rather than just accommodating them.
He showed different approaches throughout the war and his leadership cannot be defined as one leadership. Couple of traits he showed.
1. he understood the situation and the consequence that might happen.
2. he changed the context around diversity by proposing new, higher value.
3. he challenged people to make this new value make sense to them. For example, he challenged people by questioning “which one is more holy? Temple? Mosque? All holy. We fight for the people living inside of wall, not to protect stones”.
4. he relied on information and data to make objective but dogmatic decision, for example, when he wanted to burn dead bodies to prevent disease, there was resistance from the religious people. So he challenged “if God is truly God, he will understand why. If not, he is not our God so we should not worry”.
5. he tried to be authentic to the people by sharing information, even his fear.
6. he communicated the goal, plan with people clearly.
7. he motivated people by destroying conventional hierarchy and presenting a vision. He made all ordinary men as a Knight before the battle.
We should remember there is no absolute answer in leadership as different situation require different leadership. I believe it is always matter of choice. Just be yourself with more skills. Considering this and play your own leadership.
1. leader should understand the people, situation and especially the consequence of what organization they might face.
2. should do a critical reasoning of what leader want to do.
3. when leaders have decided, have a very clear communication with the people and move with a team.
In this regard, diversity is also a matter of choice. diversity is not just accepting or accommodating different value. True diversity can be achieved when all members of an organization share one high value that can embrace all other values.
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