Cross-cultural Leadership and International Business
In this episode of Impact Teams Radio, Tony interviews returning guest, Fabio Agostini. Fabio is the CIO at Silversea Cruises. Fabio manages the IT systems in Silversea, with the objective of making them as excellent as the cruises are for their customers, while still keeping their IT department a place where people enjoy working together.
In episode 26, Tony and Fabio talk about cross-cultural leadership and international business. In this episode, Fabio talked about the difference between the European and American culture in the business world. Fabio said that it’s difficult to let an American understand the nuances of international business. Fabio also explained that you need to explain to people with different cultures that there are other points of view that exist in solving a problem. He says that there are several approaches in solving a problem and any one of those can solve it. Fabio emphasized that when there is diversity in the workplace, the most important tool is communication. He says that as a leader, listening and talking to your members is vital in earning their trust and that leading by example is the best approach.
Fabio also mentioned that in most Europeans, especially in Italy, you can’t just give out instructions and expect them to be followed. You must explain to them how it should be done, why it should be done and ask them what they think about it. Basically, the difference between Americans and Europeans with regard to following instructions is that Americans are more straightforward in following them. Tony added that another guest also shared the same view that in the U.S., members of a team are more likely to be treated as resources rather than people. Fabio also discussed about adjusting to the time zone of where you are working. Another topic that the two discussed is about managing cross-cultural conflict and time zone difference conflict. Listen to the newest Impact Teams Radio episode and learn more about cross-cultural leadership and international business.