Have you ever had difficulty working with people from different cultures? If so, this article from the Harvard Business Review might explain why.

By analysing reports on 1,500 senior executives, Gurnek Bains, from leadership consultancy YSC, was able to reveal their strengths and weaknesses. His team divided the data across regions and into different categories.

As globalization continues apace, emotional intelligence about different cultures and practices is key. To lead a global team, technical knowledge and industry awareness is not enough: cross-cultural understanding is a must.

The following chart, taken from Bains’ research, provides an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of senior executives around the world.

Some of the qualities may surprise you. In the US, for example – a country normally celebrated for its entrepreneurial spirit and out-of-the-box thinking – executives were not seen to be as creative as those in other regions. They do, however, come with a can-do attitude: they beat every other region for being action-oriented.

China seems to be home to some big thinkers, with a large proportion of their executives said to be analytical. Europeans lead the way when it comes to being strategic, and executives in Africa were found to be particularly adept at team-building.

Below a chart displaying percentages of executives with strengths in the area of leadership across the regions.

Source: Harvard Business Review. To view the full infographic click here.