These charts reveal how to lead people in 50 countries

China.RLC
The leadership style in China would not be effective in countries such as Holland and Spain. Richard Lewis Communications

Different cultures can have radically different leadership styles.

Understanding them is key to international success, according to British linguist Richard Lewis, founder of consulting firm Richard Lewis Communications.

In Asian countries, for instance, leadership is portrayed as a circle, where consensus rule is valued and leaders are seen as benevolent.

In America (at least outside startup culture), leadership looks more pyramidal, with orders relayed from the top to the bottom and people at every level looking out for themselves.

To learn more about these fascinating cultural norms, Lewis gave us permission to publish the following leadership diagrams from “Cross-Cultural Communication: A Visual Approach,” along with his commentary.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”in-argentina-nepotism-is-common-and-staff-are-manipulated-by-a-variety-of-persuasive-methods-ranging-from-paternalism-to-outright-coercion-1″
title=”In Argentina, ‘nepotism is common, and staff are manipulated by a variety of persuasive methods ranging from paternalism to outright coercion.'”
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[slide
permalink=”australian-managers-are-much-more-effective-when-they-sit-in-the-ring-with-the-mates-they-also-exert-more-influence-when-they-crack-jokes-use-cynicism-and-curse-2″
title=”Australian managers are much more effective when they ‘sit in the ring with the mates.’ They also exert more influence when they crack jokes, use cynicism, and curse.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”in-austria-business-leadership-is-autocratic-workers-tend-to-show-exaggerated-respect-to-seniors-and-are-uncomfortable-with-a-system-where-their-voices-are-rarely-heard-3″
title=”In Austria, business leadership is autocratic. ‘Workers tend to show exaggerated respect to seniors and are uncomfortable with a system where their voices are rarely heard.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707c01eab8ea7b41c67cd3″
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-belarus-leadership-is-of-the-old-fashioned-autocratic-kind-power-distance-is-steadfastly-maintained-consensus-is-rarely-sought-enthusiastically-and-female-leaders-are-rare-4″
title=”In Belarus, ‘leadership is of the old-fashioned autocratic kind, power distance is steadfastly maintained, consensus is rarely sought enthusiastically, and female leaders are rare.'”
content=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”flemish-belgian-bosses-are-relaxed-and-low-key-and-it-is-generally-accepted-that-decision-making-will-be-consensual-in-walloon-belgium-all-final-decisions-rest-with-the-boss-5″
title=”Flemish Belgian ‘bosses are relaxed and low-key, and it is generally accepted that decision-making will be consensual.’ In Walloon Belgium, ‘all final decisions rest with the boss.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707c51ecad04fe72c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”brazilian-managers-normally-rule-in-an-autocratic-manner-but-they-often-strive-to-be-encouraging-and-cheerful-with-subordinates-6″
title=”Brazilian managers ‘normally rule in an autocratic manner,’ but they often strive to be encouraging and cheerful with subordinates.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707ce4ecad041b6fc67cd7″
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-business-canadian-managers-behave-in-a-subdued-manner-in-comparison-with-their-american-counterparts-and-are-expected-by-their-staff-to-be-truthful-trusting-and-egalitarian-7″
title=”‘In business, Canadian managers behave in a subdued manner in comparison with their American counterparts and are expected by their staff to be truthful, trusting, and egalitarian.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707d9069bedda04c8e9229″
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]
[slide
permalink=”consensus-is-generally-highly-valued-in-china-but-in-companies-controlled-by-the-state-a-leadership-group-will-decide-policy-8″
title=”‘Consensus is generally highly valued in China, but in companies controlled by the state, a leadership group will decide policy.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707e226bb3f7ae25c67cd0″
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[slide
permalink=”czechs-resent-power-imposed-from-the-outside-and-never-accepted-inequality-imposed-by-foreign-rulers-egalitarianism-and-democratic-institutions-are-instinctively-desired-9″
title=”‘Czechs resent power imposed from the outside and never accepted inequality imposed by foreign rulers. Egalitarianism and democratic institutions are instinctively desired.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707e60eab8ead455c67cd0″
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]
[slide
permalink=”though-top-managers-can-exert-considerable-pressure-danes-are-skillful-in-maintaining-a-decidedly-congenial-atmosphere-in-discussion-horizontal-communication-is-widespread-and-generally-successful-10″
title=”‘Though top managers can exert considerable pressure, Danes are skillful in maintaining a decidedly congenial atmosphere in discussion. Horizontal communication is widespread and generally successful.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707ea469bedda9508e922b”
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-egypt-dictators-the-islamic-church-and-the-military-jostle-for-influence-business-leaders-draw-on-great-experience-and-try-not-always-successfully-to-avoid-politics-11″
title=”In Egypt, ‘dictators, the Islamic church, and the military jostle for influence. Business leaders draw on great experience and try, not always successfully, to avoid politics.'”
content=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”estonians-are-very-individualistic-each-person-feels-capable-and-prefers-to-lead-rather-than-be-led-status-is-gained-by-achievement-decisiveness-and-energy-12″
title=”‘Estonians are very individualistic. Each person feels capable and prefers to lead rather than be led. Status is gained by achievement, decisiveness, and energy.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55707f14ecad04c404c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”finnish-managers-have-the-reputation-of-being-decisive-at-crunch-time-and-do-not-hesitate-to-stand-shoulder-to-shoulder-with-staff-and-help-out-in-crises-13″
title=”‘Finnish managers have the reputation of being decisive at crunch time and do not hesitate to stand shoulder to shoulder with staff and help out in crises.'”
content=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-france-authority-is-typically-centered-around-the-chief-executive-and-managers-see-themselves-as-valued-leaders-in-society-14″
title=”In France, authority is typically centered around the chief executive, and managers see themselves as valued leaders in society.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5570999decad046224c67cd3″
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]
[slide
permalink=”german-managers-strive-to-create-a-perfect-system-they-work-long-hours-obey-the-rules–and-insist-on-fair-play-15″
title=”German managers strive to create a perfect system. ‘They work long hours, obey the rules … and insist on fair play.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/557099ae6bb3f74d50c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-greece-in-the-world-of-business-management-is-autocratic-16″
title=”In Greece, ‘in the world of business, management is autocratic.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709f4aecad040d53c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”a-conspicuous-absence-of-military-victories-and-political-triumphs-has-made-hungarians-adopt-a-cynical-attitude-to-any-kind-of-leadership-17″
title=”‘A conspicuous absence of military victories and political triumphs has made Hungarians adopt a cynical attitude to any kind of leadership.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709f2b6bb3f77478c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”nepotism-is-rife-in-traditional-indian-companies-family-members-hold-key-positions-and-work-in-close-unison-18″
title=”‘Nepotism is rife in traditional Indian companies. Family members hold key positions and work in close unison.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/557099f6eab8ea0404c67cd1″
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]
[slide
permalink=”indonesian-managers-tend-to-be-indifferent-to-the-business-process-resulting-in-leadership-often-being-entrusted-to-a-resident-chinese-professional-class-19″
title=”Indonesian managers tend to be indifferent to the business process, resulting in leadership often being entrusted to a resident Chinese professional class.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709a0aeab8ea0904c67cd2″
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]
[slide
permalink=”spiritual-leadership-is-dominant-in-iran-government-leaders-must-be-a-fully-qualified-theologian-selected-by-experts-20″
title=”‘Spiritual leadership is dominant’ in Iran. Government leaders ‘must be a fully qualified theologian, selected by experts.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709f3b6bb3f7f975c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”since-the-establishment-of-democracy-irish-leaders-have-generally-emerged-as-charismatic-persons-with-an-educated-background-those-who-have-the-ability-to-persuade-and-arbitrate-are-most-likely-to-rise-to-the-top-21″
title=”‘Since the establishment of democracy, Irish leaders have generally emerged as charismatic persons with an educated background. Those who have the ability to persuade and arbitrate are most likely to rise to the top.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709c0a6da811e604d14be2″
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]
[slide
permalink=”lacking-an-aristocracy-israeli-society-attaches-importance-to-achievement-and-dynamism-when-looking-for-leadership-22″
title=”‘Lacking an aristocracy, Israeli society attaches importance to achievement and dynamism when looking for leadership.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709a1f6da8110575d14be2″
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]
[slide
permalink=”italians-are-comfortable-in-a-hierarchy-skillfully-led-by-persons-of-noble-birth-or-from-traditionally-eminent-or-wealthy-families-23″
title=”‘Italians are comfortable in a hierarchy skillfully led by persons of noble birth or from traditionally eminent or wealthy families.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709d90ecad04c23fc67cd1″
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-japan-ideas-often-originate-on-the-factory-floor-or-with-other-lower-level-sources-suggestions-ideas-and-inventions-make-their-way-up-the-company-hierarchy-by-a-process-of-collecting-signatures-among-workers-and-middle-managers-24″
title=”In Japan, ‘ideas often originate on the factory floor or with other lower-level sources. Suggestions, ideas, and inventions make their way up the company hierarchy by a process of collecting signatures among workers and middle managers.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”korean-chaebols-or-conglomerates-are-typically-family-owned-nepotism-is-rampant-with-all-sons-brothers-nephews-etc-holding-key-positions-25″
title=”Korean ‘chaebols,’ or conglomerates, are typically family-owned. ‘Nepotism is rampant, with all sons, brothers, nephews, etc., holding key positions.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”latvians-are-individualistic-and-everyone-wants-to-be-a-manager-however-there-is-a-tendency-to-respect-firm-confident-knowledgeable-leadership-26″
title=”‘Latvians are individualistic,’ and everyone wants to be a manager. ‘However, there is a tendency to respect firm, confident, knowledgeable leadership.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709a686da8110575d14be6″
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]
[slide
permalink=”the-older-generation-of-lithuanian-managers-has-not-completely-freed-themselves-of-bureaucratic-habits-from-soviet-times-but-young-leadership-is-developing-a-more-dynamic-style-with-nordic-encouragement-27″
title=”‘The older generation of Lithuanian managers has not completely freed themselves of bureaucratic habits from Soviet times, but young leadership is developing a more dynamic style, with Nordic encouragement.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709a7e6da8110c76d14be3″
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]
[slide
permalink=”the-mexican-leader-is-a-family-man-and-a-good-catholic-his-shrewdness-and-skills-in-business-are-not-allowed-to-intrude-upon-this-basic-goodness-and-his-subordinates-obey-him-without-question-28″
title=”‘The Mexican leader is a family man and a good Catholic; his shrewdness and skills in business are not allowed to intrude upon this basic goodness,’ and ‘his subordinates obey him without question.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709bd4eab8ea0f15c67cd1″
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]
[slide
permalink=”leadership-in-the-netherlands-is-based-on-merit-competence-and-achievement-managers-are-vigorous-and-decisive-but-consensus-is-mandatory-as-there-are-many-key-players-in-the-decision-making-process-29″
title=”‘Leadership in the Netherlands is based on merit, competence, and achievement. Managers are vigorous and decisive, but consensus is mandatory, as there are many key players in the decision-making process.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709a9e69bedd940d8e9229″
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]
[slide
permalink=”most-new-zealanders-are-brought-up-to-respect-authority-and-managers-have-a-relatively-easy-task-as-long-as-they-function-in-a-calm-egalitarian-and-reasoning-manner-30″
title=”‘Most New Zealanders are brought up to respect authority, and managers have a relatively easy task as long as they function in a calm, egalitarian, and reasoning manner.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709f586da811af11d14be2″
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-democratic-norway-the-boss-is-very-much-in-the-center-of-things-and-staff-enjoy-access-to-him-or-her-most-of-the-time-31″
title=”‘In democratic Norway, the boss is very much in the center of things, and staff enjoy access to him or her most of the time.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”pakistani-business-leaders-function-in-a-hierarchical-style-but-have-to-accept-certain-constraints-imposed-by-the-military-and-increasingly-islamic-leaders-32″
title=”Pakistani business leaders ‘function in a hierarchical style, but have to accept certain constraints imposed by the military, and increasingly, Islamic leaders.'”
content=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”despite-external-pressures-the-polish-retain-many-traditional-romantic-values-however-meritocracy-now-dominates-advancement-in-polish-society-33″
title=”Despite external pressures, the Polish retain many traditional romantic values. However, ‘meritocracy now dominates advancement in Polish society.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709ad569bedd6c058e9229″
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]
[slide
permalink=”portuguese-business-leaders-and-many-political-figures-come-from-the-leading-families-and-staff-are-generally-obedient-and-deferential-34″
title=”Portuguese ‘business leaders and many political figures come from the leading families,’ and ‘staff are generally obedient and deferential.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709c5f6bb3f7c568c67ccf”
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]
[slide
permalink=”efforts-made-by-managers-to-promote-business-through-official-channels-only-are-likely-to-founder-on-the-rocks-of-bureaucracy-and-russian-apathy-using-key-people-and-personal-alliances-the-system-is-often-bypassed-and-a-result-achieved-35″
title=”‘Efforts made by managers to promote business through official channels only are likely to founder on the rocks of bureaucracy and Russian apathy. Using key people and personal alliances, the ‘system’ is often bypassed and a result achieved.'”
content=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”apart-from-questions-of-clan-hierarchy-power-distance-is-low-and-leadership-is-very-democratic-in-scotland-36″
title=”‘Apart from questions of clan hierarchy, power distance is low and leadership is very democratic’ in Scotland.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709d3869bedd121d8e922c”
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-serbia-the-man-in-power-can-get-away-with-a-lot-37″
title=”‘In Serbia, the man in power can get away with a lot.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709f1b6da811b411d14be2″
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]
[slide
permalink=”in-slovakia-an-autocratic-style-is-favored-over-a-consensual-one-few-people-are-anxious-to-embrace-responsibility-38″
title=”In Slovakia, ‘an autocratic style is favoured over a consensual one. Few people are anxious to embrace responsibility.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”slovene-leaders-are-characterized-more-by-pragmatism-than-idealism-or-rhetoric-39″
title=”Slovene leaders are ‘characterised more by pragmatism than idealism or rhetoric.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709e3e69beddec1c8e9229″
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[slide
permalink=”spanish-managers-are-autocratic-and-charismatic-they-work-less-from-logic-than-from-intuition-and-pride-themselves-on-their-personal-influence-on-all-their-staff-members-40″
title=”Spanish managers are autocratic and charismatic. ‘They work less from logic than from intuition, and pride themselves on their personal influence on all their staff members.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709b0e6bb3f7285fc67ccf”
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[slide
permalink=”in-sub-saharan-african-traditionally-many-societies-were-based-on-clans-and-lineages-however-clan-and-tribal-influence-is-weakening-due-to-economic-changes-41″
title=”In Sub-Saharan African, ‘traditionally many societies were based on clans and lineages.’ However, clan and tribal influence is weakening due to economic changes.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709f6569bedd4f288e922c”
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]
[slide
permalink=”swedish-management-is-decentralized-and-democratic-the-rationale-is-that-better-informed-employees-are-more-motivated-and-perform-better-the-drawback-is-that-decisions-can-be-delayed-42″
title=”Swedish management is decentralized and democratic. The rationale is that better-informed employees are more motivated and perform better. The drawback is that decisions can be delayed.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709b2c69beddd2138e9229″
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[slide
permalink=”there-is-a-deep-rooted-distrust-of-government-in-switzerland-and-the-system-of-rule-resembles-the-american-in-its-intricate-array-of-checks-and-balances-43″
title=”‘There is a deep-rooted distrust of government in Switzerland, and the system of rule resembles the American in its intricate array of checks and balances.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55709e7deab8eacb27c67cd1″
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[slide
permalink=”in-thailand-the-kings-power-emanates-from-the-people-he-is-head-of-state-and-of-the-armed-forces-and-upholder-of-buddhism-and-all-other-religions-44″
title=”In Thailand, ‘the King’s power emanates from the people; he is Head of State and of the armed forces, and upholder of Buddhism and all other religions.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-first-president-of-turkey-kemal-ataturk-has-emerged-as-the-model-turkish-leader–brave-firm-decisive-innovative-above-all-humane-and-commonsensical-45″
title=”The first president of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, ‘has emerged as the model Turkish leader — brave, firm, decisive, innovative, above all humane and commonsensical.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”british-managers-are-diplomatic-tactful-laid-back-casual-reasonable-helpful-willing-to-compromise-and-seeking-to-be-fair-however-they-can-be-ruthless-when-necessary-46″
title=”British managers ‘are diplomatic, tactful, laid back, casual, reasonable, helpful, willing to compromise, and seeking to be fair.’ However, they can be ruthless when necessary.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-ukrainian-concept-of-leadership-is-derived-from-many-widely-differing-styles-in-history-leadership-is-characterized-by-autocracy-political-manipulation-tendency-towards-corruption-and-its-preference-for-males-47″
title=”‘The Ukrainian concept of leadership is derived from many widely differing styles in history.’ Leadership is characterised by ‘autocracy, political manipulation, tendency towards corruption, and its preference for males.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”american-managers-are-assertive-aggressive-goal-and-action-oriented-confident-vigorous-optimistic-and-ready-for-change-they-are-capable-of-teamwork-and-corporate-spirit-but-they-value-individual-freedom-their-first-interest-is-furthering-their-own-career-48″
title=”American managers are ‘assertive, aggressive, goal and action oriented, confident, vigorous, optimistic, and ready for change. They are capable of teamwork and corporate spirit, but they value individual freedom. Their first interest is furthering their own career.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”vietnamese-leaders-must-possess-a-good-war-record-and-adhere-to-socialist-thinking-however-managers-in-the-south-are-more-westernized-49″
title=”Vietnamese leaders ‘must possess a good war record and adhere to socialist thinking.’ However, managers in the south are more Westernized.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”music-choirs-and-rugby-are-binding-factors-and-the-relative-smallness-of-many-welsh-enterprises-removes-possible-elements-of-pomposity-or-excessive-charisma-50″
title=”‘Music, choirs, and rugby are binding factors, and the relative smallness of many Welsh enterprises removes possible elements of pomposity or excessive charisma.'”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”now-check-out-communication-patterns-from-all-over-the-world-51″
title=”Now check out communication patterns from all over the world:”
content=”

These Diagrams Reveal How To Do Business With People Around The World


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]
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