DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Knowledge CQ

Written by: on January 31, 2019

During my time at Fuller Seminary, my favorite professor introduced me to David Livermore. David Livermore is a researcher, speaker, and author most known for his cultural intelligence quotient, or CQ as it’s commonly called.[1] Livermore, and the Cultural Intelligence Center, have developed four capabilities of cultural intelligence.[2] Those are, CQ Drive, CQ Knowledge, CQ Strategy, and CQ Action.[3] Suffice it to say that when I first heard about Erin Meyer, Livermore mentioned her work as a good way of developing more CQ Knowledge. Knowledge CQ is essentially understanding about culture in any given situation.[4] Erin Meyer and The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures did not disappoint.


Erin Meyer is a native of Minnesota but currently lives in Paris and works as a professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school.[5] Erin has done extensive work across cultures and her contribution to the field of international business has earned her much notoriety, including being named one of the most influential thinkers of 2017 by HR Magazine.[6]


As I worked my way through The Culture Map, I chuckled out loud more than once; her writing style was effortless, her stories incredibly relatable. In fact, I ended up emailing my sister-in-law the passage about Erin getting lost in New Delhi, looking for a restaurant.[7] Nearly the exact same situation happened to us in our travels throughout India no less than four times in 10 days! I think I nearly wore out my chaco sandals trying to get to the subway in Kolkata, which was “just 5 minutes walk from the hotel.”


I particularly enjoyed Meyers work on leadership, hierarchy, and power. She built on the work of Geert Hofstede who coined the phrase “power distance”, but she took it a step further by giving practical applications of how our behavior communicates much about us that we may not even realize.[8] One of the things I found most interesting was how historical factors affecting the spectrum scale of leadership. I almost feel foolish saying this, but I had never thought to engage historical context of cultures into a present understanding of how cultures behave and interact today. I reflected quite a bit on her historical clue referencing the distance between people and God.[9] She says, “Countries with Protestant cultures tend to fall further to the egalitarian side of the scale than those with a more Catholic tradition. One interpretation of this pattern is that the Protestant Reformation largely removed the traditional hierarchy from the church. In many strains of Protestantism, the individual speaks directly to God instead of speaking to God through the priest, the bishop, and the pope.”[10] In light of the reading over the last few weeks, I was surprised to see her engagement with religion, and yet again surprised by my fascination with history.


This book definitely raised my Knowledge CQ and I am excited to see how it challenges me to think, and behave differently in my work and my travels.



[1] “Bio”, David Livermore, accessed January 31, 2019,

[2] “Cultural Intelligence 2.0: New Insights for Measuring and Improving CQ,” Blog, David Livermore, last modified July 18, 2016,

[3] “Cultural Intelligence 2.0: New Insights for Measuring and Improving CQ,” Blog, David Livermore, last modified July 18, 2016,

[4] “Cultural Intelligence 2.0: New Insights for Measuring and Improving CQ,” Blog, David Livermore, last modified July 18, 2016,

[5] “About”, Erin Meyer, accessed January 31, 2019,

[6] “About”, Erin Meyer, accessed January 31, 2019,

[7] Erin Meyer, The Culture Map (International Edition): Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures (New York, NY: PublicAffairs, 2015), 29.

[8] Ibid., 122.

[9] Ibid., 128.

[10] Ibid., 128.

About the Author


Karen Rouggly

Karen Rouggly is the Director for Mobilization in the Center for Student Action at Azusa Pacific University. She develops transformational experiences for students serving locally, nationally, and internationally. She completed an MA in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about community development, transformational service and helping students understand vocation and service. Karen is also an active member at the Vineyard Church Glendora where she is a small group leader and serves on the teaching team. She is also a mom to two sweet boys, wife to an amazing guy, and loves being a friend to many.

8 responses to “Knowledge CQ”

  1. Hi Karen. I appreciated Erin covering the concept of “power distance” as well. I knew about this, but just did not know there was a term for it, much less studies behind it. One of the best examples of this was a story I had heard about an American who accepted a senior position at a small seminary in Africa. One day he noticed the grass on the grounds needed cutting. Instead of bothering the grounds crew for what he thought was a minor thing, he decided to mow the lawn. He figured, what’s the harm? If anything it might show some humility, that the president of the seminary would not consider a job, such as mowing the lawn beneath him. It turns out, days later, people started to lose respect for him and further marred the reputation of the organization. It was explained later to him that when people saw him mow the lawn, they figured the seminary didn’t have funds for grounds upkeep and/or he was not performing well enough in his job, etc. Apparently in that culture, menial jobs equated low status in society.

    I thought that was interesting. Here he was, trying to set a good example by being the humble servant leader that he is, and yet unnecessarily garnering the opposite. Had he known about this I’m sure he would’ve let directed his attention away from the growing grass.

    • mm Karen Rouggly says:

      This is a great example of power distance. I’ve always heard it in reference to a power differential, but to hear it mapped out the way she did was very insightful. Thanks for your comment!

  2. mm Rev Jacob Bolton says:

    I laughed my way through this one too! I actually listened to it in the car since I had to log many miles to and from meetings this past week . . . and Erin Meyer herself is who reads the audiobook. She even goes into distinct accents from each location when she reads as someone from different parts of the world. Definitely added to the experience!

    • mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

      Jacob, This is brilliant, I never thought about listening to any of these as audiobooks. Thanks so much for this “hack” (am I using this term correctly?)

  3. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Karen, Thanks for the reference to David Livermore’s work with Cultural Intelligence. I discovered I have this book and have it on the stack to evaluate as a bibliography candidate for my research. Karen, how do you see Meyer’s work on leadership, hierarchy, and power influencing your own research? Thanks again for your thoughts.

    • mm Karen Rouggly says:

      Hey Harry! I am sure there are a few things I could pull out for my own research, but there is nothing major that stands out. The one area it could really help is used as a training aid as we encourage college-aged students to think through cross-cultural service.

  4. mm Mary Mims says:

    Karen, you are right that the leadership, hierarchy, and power is very interesting as it aligns to the relationship between the Catholics and the Protestant. I never thought about the fact that I was raised Catholic might influence how I viewed leadership. Both Meyer and Livermore are excellent tools in understanding leadership across multicultural lines.

  5. mm Sean Dean says:

    The work on power distance is very interesting and will likely make it into my work on hospitality. It seems counter intuitive, but power and hospitality play with each other – and sometimes not very nicely. Thanks for your reflections.

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