The Devil Wears Prada is a movie published in 2006. It is one of a very well-known movie that shows a work ethic in a fashion magazine. Actually, “The Devil Wears Prada” caused so many pros and cons about the leadership style. Miranda Priestly, the icon in this movie, become the most interesting part of this movie. She is known as “the devil” in her office and fellow employees because she could adopt the masculine style of leadership than stick on the common lady-boss with her feminine style. This movie not only taught about the working culture but also the leadership style. How Priestly handles and controls each of her employees and how the employee’s reaction to Priestly’s leading and managing style. Hence the Priestly’s leadership style is the reflection of the leadership style in America.
The way of thinking of the Americans is different from the Asian. Most of the people would choose to hire an employee that came from America rather than Asians because the Americans consider being more productive. Hereby are the explanation of the different working culture and leadership style between America and Asian according to the movie entitled “The Devil Wears Prada”.
First is the communication style of the employee to the executive. In the movie, there is a scene where Andrea spoke up against Priestly. Priestly seemed does not very satisfied to Andrea because she judges Andrea because of her appearance, as she applied to become an assistant in a fashion magazine but her style did not very convincing. This common situation would like to happen in most companies in America. The employees are talked openly about something or everything about their work, even they like it or not. They also shared a lot with the co-workers, for instance, give a suggestion or give their complaint, but in Asian. The Asians tend to be quiet and hesitant to speak. For example in Indonesia, Japan, and China. The employees did not talk much or give any complaint, at least comment. They tend to concern about the politeness and manner rather than express their idea (Mills, 2005).
Second, Priestly always dare to take a big risk in every decision that she made. Yet she also already thought what will happen if she decides to do this or that. Another working ethics of the Americans is they dare to take a big risk, even though it would cause much cost rather than the benefit. The Asian however afraid to take any big risk. The Asian consider to afraid if they are wrong or failed. Moreover, most Asian do not like to explore something new because they are afraid of the responsibilities and the consequences if they take a very big risk (Lim, 2016).
The next is the capability of Priestly to lead and convince the designer to sponsor the Fashion Runaway. Even she often reject so many fashion designers by the movement of her head, the designers still respect her, moreover felt “afraid” if they could not fulfill her expectations, that is why Priestly called by the Devil. She has a perfect feature to become a great leader. Yet in Asian, the most important feature become a good leader is the cultural agility and awareness, the capability comes as the second choice, according to a survey done by Josh Bersin, a research of talent management and leadership in 2015. He did a survey to know the leader material in Asia, and turns out the cultural awareness is the most important thing of a good leadership in Asian it is because each of Asian has their own local culture.
Miranda Priestly is not a type of feminine leader, more like masculine. Jones stated that “if Miranda Priestly talks like a manager, she is transgressing the boundaries of femininity” (Jones, 2000: 196). She dared to be the masculine kinds, and sometimes she asked her assistant to do something or job that almost impossible to finish. According to Lui in her analysis (according to Holmes, 2006) women who applied the masculine style of leadership, even there are so many successful women in this century, are so rare. Miranda Priestly adopt this kind of leadership style. Meanwhile, in Asia, the leader did not give very clear instructions. The Asians consider to uncomfortable and hesitate to ask someone else.
In addition, the differences between a feminine and masculine leader can be seen on how he/she acts and commands the employees. Many researchers stated that “leaders are typically characterized as authoritative, strong-minded, decisive, aggressive, competitive, confident, single-minded, goal-oriented, courage, hard- nosed, and adversarial.” (Holmes, 2006). Holmes also added the characterization of each leadership style on the table below:
Use query and too much hesitation and pauses
More commandment and instructions
Use a needed statement
When people talk about masculine leader, they think about men because the common stereotype of men are masculine, and women are feminine. Unlike many female leader in several movie, the script writer who wrote the scenario of The Devil Wears Prada made a new version of a female leader with masculine style. She often ordered her employee with decisive order and always used the word ‘need’, for instance, “I need 10 or 15 skirts from Calvin Klein”. The instruction is pretty clear, it has meaning to get someone to do something immediately (Lui, 2009).
In summary, both Asian and American have a different management of work culture and leadership style. Asians consider to follow the rule and stick in their own cultural hegemony than to explore and free themselves to do something new. On the other hand, the Americans more open to the critics and more dynamic, because they like to invent something new and different. It is shown in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”. Priestly’s employees know their job desk and what to do to impress the boss. Priestly also consider having masculine leadership style, because she always gives direct and clear instructions.