5 Truisms About Leadership and Corporate Culture Leaders Cannot Ignore


Corporate culture has a significant impact on talent management and organizational success. For instance, a new CEO who does not fit with the company’s culture would affect other employees. Ultimately, the culture reflects the values of the people running an organization. This means that the CEO values input from all levels, which encourages those employees to work toward the success of the company.


I have spoken as executive search firms on the topic of search for a good fit and not just another job.  And recently in a conversation with a dear friend and former colleague, she stated she left her recent acquired executive position because her values were in conflict with the company’s culture.

In his Harvard Business Review blog post, “A Good Way to Change a Corporate Culture,” Peter Bregman asserted that, “If you want to change the culture, you have to change the stories.” This involves facing the truth the stories and doing something about them. One example, is Bill Black, a CEO of Maritime Life. He invited all 1,000 of the company’s employees to take part in creating a values statement. He also instructed a team of employees to write a newspaper with stories about how these values were being brought to life in the company.

There are five truisms in regard to leadership and corporate culture:

  1. The culture is a reflection of the values of those leading the organization
  2. The culture is, ultimately, a reflection of the stories employees tell
  3. Facing the truth about your stories, and doing something about them, can have a powerful impact on performance
  4. How well a leader blends together the corporate cultures of different companies  during a merger is critical to the success of the new company
  5. With the advancement of women, minorities, a deeper variety of  ethnic cultures and now five generations represented in the corporate workplace today, it is more important than ever for leaders to understand the impact of culture, and become adept at shaping it.

Company owners and business leaders will often discount the importance of company culture and its impact to success at their own peril.  Are these the only truths?  I am positive there are more truisms about leadership and corporate culture that resonate with you. Please share your thoughts and insights on leadership and company culture truisms by making a comment below.

But here’s a key question:

Corporate Culture: Whose Job Is It? (See previous March 21, 2001 blog post); What do you think are our obligations as leaders if we are to create or nurture a culture of success?

Would like to discuss ways of improving your company culture? Contact Mary Hladio for a 30-minute consultation about the Fuel™ Program.

Source: Harvard Business Review (06/25/09) Bregman, Peter

Web: www.embercarriers.com|Twitter: www.twitter.com/embercarriers|LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mhladio


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