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While America has long been a world business leader, that doesn’t mean that the standard practices of American business management are necessarily the only or even the ideal way to run a company. Different businesses have different demands and understanding how other managers conduct their business can be useful information, even if you choose not to implement their policies. Here are five of the most interesting leadership styles from around the world.
The especially high prevalence of younger workers educated abroad has created a system of business practices that are more individualistic and often anti-authoritarian in Latvia. This creates a non-hierarchical system with few top-down leaders but plenty of individualized managers who each focus on their own disciplines.
The Amicable Hierarchy of Norway
While Norway may resemble American business on the surface with its tiered levels of management, managers and bosses tend to be not as segregated and isolated from the rest of the workforce as they are in the United States. Business runs on the assumption that managers were assigned their positions for a particular reason, and their opinions are usually treated with seriousness further up the chain of command. Staff, similarly, will generally have free and open access even to the highest ranking executives in the company.
Germans are well known for running a tight ship, and that’s largely reflected in their corporate and leadership culture. If anything, the hierarchy apparent in German companies is even tighter and stricter than in America. Every single link in the chain serves a purpose, and information flows upward in an orderly manner. While this level of rigidity may be restrictive to more free thinking workers, German companies still tend to put a high emphasis on collective opinions, which is sometimes better facilitated by the orderly game of telephone that takes place.
In stark counterpoint to the egalitarian nature of Nordic leadership, the boss is the king of the castle in many French businesses. While this means that they can often overlook the opinions of their managers and circumvent concerns of specialists, the rigidity of this structure ensures that many French leaders are uniformly well-informed about a wide range of issues within their business.
Swedish businesses are run on the premise that an open and honest discussion yields the best results, so decision making tends to be decentralized from the leader and focused on intense and meandering conversations that pull in members throughout the company. There’s no tight chain of command cordoning off information, but the genial and inclusive approach to decision making means that conclusions are reached more slowly.
While domineering personalities like ENTJs and ESTJs are certainly evocative of leadership, there are many Meyers-Briggs personality types that can lead others in their own unique ways. This article highlights how many “intuitive” types can foster and direct others.
INTJ: INTJs lead with foresight and reason. They trust their instincts to pick up on strategies for any situation and have no issue working toward a plan’s completion. INTJs are calm, dedicated individuals that can infect others with confidence and capable of assessing the long-term effects of a plan.
ENTJ: ENTJs are confident, insightful and decisive. They deliver on their promises and will speak candidly. An ENTJ’s surety in execution and vision can do wonders for group efforts.
INTP: INTPs are accurate, knowledgeable and inventive, seeing themselves as leading by committee so that all parties involved feel included.
ENTP: ENTPs are enterprising, cunning and competitive. They “get” entrepreneurship and push themselves to advance their own work and their project. They focus deeply on achieving a goal never stopping but always experimenting for better results. ENTPs will simulate many approaches before agreeing on the best one.
INFJ: INFJs are passionate visionaries with keen insight. They tend to excel in humanitarian leadership roles, seeking to nurture, hear and understand their teammates. They are perfectionists who demand much of themselves while nudging and cajoling others. They consider how a decision will work toward their goal and how it might affect others.
ENFJ: ENFJs are infectiously confident individuals who lead by example. They have a goal, organized and disciplined in order to reach that goal and are always working toward that finish line. Despite this drive, they never lose sight of their subordinates and are not above stepping in to push them as individuals.
INFP: INFPs lead through passion and empathy, favoring humanitarian leadership positions. They innovate and keep an open mind on execution while excelling at two-way communication. An INFP listens to her personal morals and ethics before considering how her decision might affect others.
ENFP: ENFPs are resourceful, innovative types who love to brainstorm and encourage everyone to speak up. They have little issue with joint leadership, seeing it as an opportunity to debate, and will consider all approaches to problem-solving before moving to execution.
Many companies turn to popular personality tests to help classify which employees would make good leaders and which perform best in other roles. Standard tests include the Strengthsfinder and the Meyers Briggs Personality Assessment (MBTI). It is the latter one that I’ve chosen to focus on for the sake of this mini-series.
MBTI posits that each person can be sorted into one of 16 different personality types, with individuals scoring on a sliding scale within their respective types. Each type has a few distinctive characteristics that can make or break them as leaders. For easy reading, I’ve broken them down into two groups; the sensors (‘S’ types) will be covered in this post, and the intuitives (‘N’ types) will be featured in a future article.
If you don’t know your Meyers Briggs personality type, you can take the assessment here.
ISTJ: This type is extremely detail-oriented. They like to make sure instructions are well thought out and contain absolute clarity. Complications can arise, however, if they tend to focus too intently on the small items and neglect the overall goal or outcome.
ESTJ: ESTJ’s are chief decision-makers in leadership. They enjoy taking charge in challenging situations and mostly base direction on fact. Their fast and direct approach can occasionally cause others to feel ignored or overlooked.
ISFJ: Perhaps one of the more thoughtful leaders, ISFJ’s will often place the needs of their team above their own. They think through each situation thoroughly but may have trouble choosing which goals to focus on as they consider every possible adverse effect.
ESFJ: This type cares deeply for their team much like the ISFJ. Their extraversion, however, allows them to more adequately display their positive leadership qualities. While they work hard, they may struggle when choosing between company goals and team impact.
ISTP: ISTP’s are very tactical in their leadership approach. They enjoy hearing everyone out and prefer not to micromanage. Unfortunately, this type likes to work alone and may find it difficult to form strong attachments to their company or team.
ESTP: If you were to picture a stereotypical “ideal leader,” odds are you are thinking of an ESTP. They aren’t afraid to make the tough decisions, are fantastic speakers, and excel at streamlining. Because of their zeal, however, they can often be tripped up by small details or technicalities.
ISFP: It might be tough to find an ISFP in a leadership position unless they are working towards a cause they truly stand behind. If that’s the case, then they are flexible and empathetic, often considering how each step might impact their cause. Strong sensitivities make it hard for ISFP’s to deal with emotionally-charged individuals or situations.
ESFP: ESFP’s lead with excitement and vigor. They frequently work alongside the team, encouraging them rather than overseeing them. This type can be extraordinarily free-spirited and tend to perform better with short-term goals fueled by passion instead of long-term efforts with no emotional ties.
About Jason William Kumpf
Jason William Kumpf has worked in international business for over a decade. With involvement in global real estate sectors, the expat sector, ecommerce, and finance, it is safe to say that Jason William Kumpf is a well-rounded businessman. By having a hand in multiple sectors of various international and national markets, Jason has built an incredible network of global professionals that include recognizable Fortune 500 companies as well as young, burgeoning startups.
Jason William Kumpf is Co-Chairman for an international California Trade and Business Networked called Cal Trade. To expand his reach, he also serves on the Young Members Board for FIABCI International Real Estate Foundation, a French entity with active chapters in 48 different countries. In addition to these positions, Kumpf is the Director of Alliance Partnerships at USForex Inc which works toward creating better exchange rates for several international ecommerce markets. Similarly, Jason William Kumpf is the Director of Partnerships at OFX, also in the international currency exchange rate industry, working towards the acquiring the best exchange rates available for his international clients.
In addition to Jason’s work internationally in the foreign exchange markets, he has also taken a great interest in tech startups. He has a passion for taking an outside look at complex issues and creating tangible solutions to better the overall structure of a new company. Because of his extensive training in a wide range of industries, and because of his energetic and positive spirit, Jason William Kumpf is able to not only craft great business strategy but motivate his teams as well.
Having spent nearly 20 years studying abroad and working internationally, Jason William Kumpf has seen many sides of business, negotiating, and leadership. For this reason, he feels it is incredibly important that he pass on the information he’s gained over the years to those looking to grow within the international exchange rate markets. Having a strong leadership style is valuable, but having the ability to adapt that leadership style to meet the needs of any market you’re working in is a priceless skill that will take anyone with the right drive far in life. Jason William Kumpf hopes to inspire some of this leadership in a new generation of young and talented industry members.
As Jason William Kumpf enters the next stage of his career, he looks towards opening new doors for leadership training and business strategy opportunities. If you’re a young tech startup or just looking for some leadership style advice, Jason William Kumpf’s new blog will act as a great resource. Without sharing what works, progress cannot be made, and Jason William Kumpf is dedicated to not only continuing a successful career for himself, but to see this reality happen for others.
For updates on Jason William Kumpf, be sure to check back often as new blog content will be added regularly.