Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Vive le Difference: Another FT piece, this one by my favorite business journalist Alison Mailand, reports on a MORI survey that contrasts leadership styles in France, Germany and the U.K. Its conclusion, in somewhat simplified form: the Germans are democrats; the Brits are meritocrats; and the Franch are autocrats. The French were three times more likely than the Germans to say "being in a position of power" than the British. "I enjoy the decision-making without having to confer with others," said one French respondent, unfamiliar with the idea of consensus-building.

The lessons for anyone managing an international team are obvious: "The danger for any leader is only being able to operate within one of these styles," says Steve Newhall, managing director of DDI, the HR consultancy that commissioned the study. "If you take an autocratic style into a culture that expects a more democratic or meritocratic style, the chances are that you will trip up."

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