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TEL 230: Leading With Cultural Intelligence with David Livermore

Leading With Cultural Intelligence

A summary of things you should know about Leading With Cultural Intelligence according to David Livermore:


In this episode David Livermore takes a deep dive into his the second edition of his book, Leading With Cultural Intelligence, where he reveals a 4-step model for managing across cultures.

In his book Livermore provides updated research, case studies, and statistics on the profitable benefits of developing a leadership role through the ideals of cultural intelligence. The goal of the book is to teach you how to boost your confidence when managing diverse people, adapt to any type of leadership environment, and understand employee differences when it comes to religious values.

This book is perfect for entrepreneurs who manage employees that come from many different backgrounds and need a guide to plan ahead for unfamiliar cultural settings.

The Book’s Unique Quality (3:20)

We found that there was a need for a more sophisticated approach that said there wasn’t a one size fits all to leadership but there are some general models that can be used. We wanted to show how to lead across any number of different cultures without feeling like you have to be an expert everywhere you go.

The Best Way To Engage (4:31)

I wrote this book thinking that it’s best suited to read start to finish but it can also be used as a guide book that someone can go back to.

The Reader’s Takeaway (13:48)

The primary thing I want people to understand is unlike other forms of intelligence CQ is a developmental skillset and therefore anybody can improve their cultural intelligence.

A Deep Dive Into The Book (5:30)

The book begins by dispelling some of the myths that are out there regarding what it takes to lead effectively across different cultures. One of the challenges that we say right at the begging is that if you think you can lead people the same everywhere that is not necessarily fair. On the other hand one of the myths that we dispel upfront is that somehow you have to become an expert in every culture you’re going to encounter because the more we get engaged in entrepreneurial activity, the more that we find we may be encountering dozens of cultures in a given day. So the front end of the book speaks of what is often said about what it takes to be a global entrepreneur and challenges some of the inadequacies of that and then shows you what makes someone effective working across cultures.

The book is largely oriented around answering what the difference between leaders, between entrepreneurs and between organizations that succeeds working across multiple different cultures and those that fail. And essentially what we found was that the leaders who can move in and out of any number of different cultures context, without necessarily being an expert, have four capabilities that consistently emerge and the middle section of the book walks you through these four capabilities. The first capability that consistently emerges among those who are culturally intelligent is CQ Drive which is the degree to which one is interested and motivated in different cultures and sees it as relevance to their entrepreneurial success.

This chapter goes into specific strategies of how you bear in mind the need to make your new idea something that would be appealing to different markets within the same domestic context or internationally. The second capability that the culturally intelligent leader and entrepreneur have is what we call high CQ Knowledge and that is that they have an overall grasp of the similarities and differences that tend to exist across different cultures. The third capability is the CQ Strategy piece which refers to some of the best practices for how one can lead strategically. The fourth capability is the CQ Action and this is the degree to which an entrepreneur figures out just how much to adapt, who should adapt to whom, and when to not adapt. We look at some organization examples that remind people that adaptation is a piece of it but we don’t want to go too far. The book primarily walks through that model. We have full assessments that allow people to assess where they are on those four capabilities along with intervention for Drive, Knowledge, Strategy, and Action.

The last part of the book answers the so what question, what ROI to anticipate as an individual leader, and the results that we can anticipate when others cultural intelligence improves.

NOTE: That was just a summary. To get the full deep dive, play the audio clip at 05:30

Notable Quotes From The Book (15:07)

“It’s not that I have to agree with everything you say, but I should at least attempt to understand it, for the opposite of mutual understanding is, quite simply, war.” – Ken Wilbur

The Credibility/Inspiration Of The Author (0:34)

My role is to lead the Cultural Intelligence Center where we have the chance to work with organizations around the world to help them work more effectively across cultures. I currently live in Michigan where our center is based but I am originally from the east coast.

The inspiration for the original edition was after spending 10 to 15 years researching this phenomenon of cultural intelligence many of the practitioners, managers, and entrepreneurs we had talked to asked for a more practical user-friendly version of it.

Other Books Recommended By The Author (17:14)

The Time Paradox by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd

More Information About This Book and The Author

Buy Leading With Cultural Intelligence by David Livermore on Amazon today
Visit CulturalQ.com to learn more about the book
Visit DavidLivermore.com to learn more about David and download a free chapter
Follow David Livermore on Facebook and Twitter

More Information About This Episode

Download the full transcript here (coming soon)
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher , and SoundCloud

Related books:
Widgets by Rodd Wagner
Managing Whole People by Mark Herbert
The Culture Engine by Chris Edmonds

Relevant advice and tips:
5 Characteristics of A Great Leader

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Wade is a 4-time serial entrepreneur and is the Founder/Host of The Entrepreneurs Library. With a long time passion for reading books, Wade created an online resource and podcast for entrepreneurs who love to read personal and business development books. His long-term goal in life is to start an entrepreneurial home schooling program for children of business-minded families.