Leadership philosophies and practices explores known cultural influences that determine effective leadership styles in China and India. A predominantly philosophical approach has been utilized to provide a deeper understanding of how culturally tacit knowledge guides individuals behavior. The research base includes ten case studies of leaders who have been socialized in China and India, and who have ‘transported’ their base cultural knowledge to a business environment that is dominated by Western oriented worldviews. Findings from these studies when analyzed through a bourdieusian lens confirmed that leadership styles are influenced by ‘emic’ dimensions and are moreover contextually dependent. In conclusion it was found that leadership styles are to a degree culturally specific. As cultures become more integrated for the purpose of conducting business consideration must be given to other leadership styles outside the western domain.