The influence leaders have on organizational culture cannot be overstated. Leadership and organizational culture are intricately connected. And this connection has enormous significance in helping establish, sustain, and (if needed) change organizational culture.
Leaders play a crucial role in shaping the way employees think and behave – which ultimately influences culture. In short, we set the tone for culture. The culture of an organization is largely driven by what leaders value, how we behave, and in turn what we communicate both explicitly and implicitly. Employees are looking to us to determine if our values and behavior are consistent with what we say our culture is.
This all matters because culture is the heart of an organization. Our culture serves as the vessel in which we inspire others to work towards a shared vision. At a fundamental level our culture results in employees either liking or not liking where they work. If our culture is strong, engagement, performance, and productively will be high. Whereas if our culture is weak, overall performance will suffer.
If you are struggling to establish a strong organizational culture, I encourage you to look closely at the role leadership plays. I encourage you to honestly assess your culture and the impact leaders have on it. A strong culture requires strong leadership.