Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership
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Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership

Edited by Eric H. Kessler and Diana J. Wong-MingJi

This ground-breaking book explains how deep-seated cultural mythologies shape contemporary global leaders and provides insights into navigating the dynamics and complexities in today’s era of globalization. The authors use myths to uncover core characteristics and values from 20 different cultural contexts spanning all major regions of the world – the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific Rim – that have evolved over generations and continue to shape global leadership models. Commentaries are included from practicing managers and leaders to provide real world insights on the implications of the ideas discussed. International managers and executives, public officials, business consultants and corporate trainers will welcome the insights on cross-cultural leadership styles. The book will also find interest from researchers and students across a broad array of professional and social science disciplines.
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Chapter 18: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in Russia

Stanislav V. Shekshnia, Sheila M. Puffer and Daniel J. McCarthy


Stanislav V. Shekshnia, Sheila M. Puffer and Daniel J. McCarthy INTRODUCTION Almost a quarter of a century ago, the first author of this chapter entered a Moscow food store to start his first real job as an assistant manager. His memories of that six-month stint had virtually disappeared except for one story told to him on his first day. A middle-aged worker said that every new manager would hear it on the first day in the store. The anecdote was about a bright, young woman who became the general manager of a prestigious store very early in her career. One morning, an older worker knocked on her office door and asked for a glass of vodka to cure his hangover. Outraged by such an inappropriate request, the manager sent him off. Two hours later, he was back with the same plea: ‘Give me a drink or I will die.’ The answer was quick: ‘If someone like you dies, the rest of us will be relieved.’ One hour later, she called for the man to unload a truck, and when he did not answer she went down to confront him. He was sitting still at a table and did not respond. Angrily, the manager shook the worker’s shoulder and realized that he was dead. The next day, she resigned and never again worked in food stores, one of the most attractive occupations in a hungry Soviet Union. Even for a 19year-old, the story’s message was clear – workers and alcohol were things...

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