The Antiquated Ethnocentric Leader

The world is becoming a smaller community of people. As countries try to understand what their responsibilities are to one another, leaders in various sectors of life are seeking ways to work in collaborative success for the emerging global community. This is demanding leadership to evolve beyond the national culture of the individual leader and embrace a more open and inclusive approach to leadership as the entire world moves closer to being a single entity. (Marquardt, 2012, p.1)

Since the Industrial Revolution, the West, particularly the US, has been the trendsetter in economic efficiency and growth (Tung, 2014, p. 331) in multiple sectors such as education, finance, business and governmental institutions. This emulation and admiration worldwide has created an environment for Western leaders to embrace an ethnocentric perspective on leadership. (Tung, 2014, p. 331) But in this developing world of global perspectives and mindsets, ethnocentricity is antiquated and closes doors of opportunity. Other perspectives worldwide on the same issues must be considered and, in some cases, embraced as the best solutions available. (Tung, 2014, p. 331) There is a point where patriotism becomes a hindrance, and in this new world, global leaders must learn to leverage the best ideas regardless where they originate. (Conyers, 2013, p.9)

For the Christian global leader, this perspective is in alignment with what Jesus called his disciples to become. In his final words to the disciples, Jesus commands them to develop followers from all nations. (Matthew 28:19) These men who were entrusted with building a global church were steeped in cultural exclusivity and segregation. Jesus knew an ethnocentric approach to leadership would be limiting, so he called Christian leaders then, and now, to move beyond nationalistic walls and lead a global community of people.

How does ethnocentricity hurt the Christian leaders in their own communities?


Conyers, Y. (2013). Great Global Leaders Foster Global Followership. People & Strategy, 36(3), 9–9.

Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.

Marquardt, M. J. (2012). Global Leaders for the Twenty-First Century. SUNY Press.

Tung, R. L. (2014). Distinguished Scholar Invited Essay Requisites to and Ways of Developing a Global Mind-Set Implications for Research on Leadership and Organizations. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 21(4), 329–337. doi:10.1177/1548051814549249

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