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Culture and leadership

Culture and leadership is about shaping a sound and common platform aligned to the business strategy and giving a direction with a set of common beliefs, a clear constitution/mission, strategy, EVP, values, objectives, ethics, tribe language, attitudes, acceptable boundaries, defined behaviours and leadership principles. The strategy also shapes the culture by mirroring 'direction' and setting expectations.

We are fundamentally simple creatures. A working environment where we are valued, heard, seen and allowed to develop positively impacts our thinking, behaviour, commitment, engagement, employee confidence, loyalty and mutual respect etc. An arena where people become a tribe and more than just colleagues. It is the people who shape the culture.

The tricky part of building a company culture is not to define it but to live up to it! A culture can't be changed without modification within the organisation structure. Excelling leadership is the culture promoter - both ways

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Leadership is living up to the values, the EVP, the strategy, the behaviour standards etc. It is about giving direction, generating involvement, executing respect, integrity, fairness and providing consistent communication. Leaders manage realistic expectations towards employees, provide constructive feedback, listen with empathy, empower people and develop performing teams and development processes. They want and support people to (self-)develop, deliver and succeed aso. Leadership has the built in power to make or break any organisation. The cliché ‘people don’t leave companies but bad managers’ is true.

I have more faith in day-to-day coaching and development rather than leadership workshops. Poor leadership performance (unfortunately we have all seen our share), in particular unacceptable behaviour, must be addressed constructively and without delay. Good leadership must be appraised and without delay (as well).

Culture is the intangible factor that makes a workplace great or toxic, and is paramount with respect to talent attraction (words travel fast), retention and commitmentA sound, motivating and innovative culture triggers our 'inner motivation', gives higher performance, increases ownership to the business, delivers client satisfaction and the company strategy. Hence, a focus on softer values will increase the value of the company. 

HR must possess the skills of a culture and leadership gardener - continuously water, nurture and weed.

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