Leadership for a Multicultural Age

Bordas, Juana. Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2007.

It may be said that leadership is changing from an individualistic, self-centered orientation to a We or other-centered orientation.

Leadership in this context is not a vehicle for individual advancement, but instead is based on a collective orientation and responsibility.

Leaders … must keep the cultural memory alive–linking past, present, and future so a sense of continuity, wholeness, and hope for the future is nurtured. They must also build a circle of leaders in which everyone has the opportunity to lead and many people are involved. Thus, the community capacity continues evolving and a legacy of leadership is created.

Reconciling the past, having gratitude for what one has today, and being optimistic for the future nourishes continuity and community integration. This supports the circle of leadership in which today’s leaders shepherd future generations and honor the foundation laid by those who have come before.

But today, effective leadership requires the ability to acculturate, which allows people to be receptive, skillful, and adaptable to other cultures while staying centered in their own.