Cultural Intelligence & the Successful Business Owner

Cultural Intelligence & the Successful Business Owner


For decades, the business world has been hyping up the importance of hiring people with high emotional intelligence- stressing how they will succeed in the workplace even more than their generally intelligent or more industry-experienced co workers. This fact remains true: that people with developed emotional intelligence skills do succeed more in the workplace than their counterparts, particularly in sales and service-based industries. But the tides are shifting for successful business owners wanting to hire the most progressive, effective employees. Below are 3 ways being more culturally intelligent will make you a successful business owner:

1. You’re more likely to be a leader

Cultural intelligence, defined as “the leadership capability to manage effectively in culturally diverse settings,” has been dubbed more valuable as a predictor of leadership effectiveness, according to a 2011 study. While emotional intelligence and general intelligence are quite obviously still important, and both are still strong predictors of being an effective leader, cultural intelligence factors in important issues that the other two may be lacking.

successful business owner

2. You recognize differences- and are empathetic to them

Emotional intelligence takes into account the emotions everyone experiences, but can ignore the cultural, racial, gender, and religious belief issues that play into how people interact with each other. General intelligence, while regarded very highly, does not guarantee that an individual will work well with others or will be able to lead groups of varying size and human backgrounds. Cultural intelligence caters to the soft skills that are lacking in the other two intelligences, and ensures that employees and business owners are more aware of -and empathetic to- cultural differences between employees.

successful business owner

3. You’re ready for a global market

A rise in globalization seems to be the primary driver for hiring individuals with cultural intelligence. For a long time, and due to a variety of factors, globalization has been increasing at incredible rates. Improved transportation methods, more intelligent technology, and an increase in global trade have all encouraged this shift to workplaces that require employees to be aware of not just their culture and a few others, but multiple cultures with immense differences. Since globalization isn’t slowing down any time soon, it appears that the importance of cultural intelligence when searching for company leaders will only continue to grow.

To find out more about trends in successful businesses, and how business owners can be the best in their industries, visit EO Network online. See how to join the network with the most elite entrepreneurs in the world here.

About the Author:

Joshua Conran is a senior partner at Deksia, an agency that for the past decade has been helping companies develop their branding. His main focus is on business intelligence and design.

@JoshuaConran