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The most successful business cultures have leaders who do these things


What underpins successful business cultures?

At the heart of every organisation is a great leader who is able to unite, engage and inspire people. Culture, leadership, and business success are often intertwined.

Leaders can influence business culture in a positive way. But they can also damage it by reinforcing working practices and behaviours that do harm.

Getting corporate culture right is no easy feat though. It requires hard work, dedication, and an investment of time and resources.

Great leaders understand this. They know that a strong culture is a delicate balance, which requires continual attention to keep it on track.

So, what differentiates leaders in successful business cultures from mediocre ones? In this blog post, we’re going to look at the key business leadership skills they should have.

Walking the talk

Walking the talk

Leaders of successful business cultures model the right behaviours and lead by example.

They keep their promises, treat their employees fairly, give recognition, model ethical behaviour and set the right tone in every aspect of business life. Walking the talk is an essential component of this.

Bosses who stand up in front of the company and talk about commitment but then head off to the golf course aren’t walking the talk – they are crushing morale.

That is never good for business in the long-term. This kind of behaviour leads to resentment, poor motivation and ultimately impacts the bottom line. It’s something a great leader would never do.

Hiring the right people

Spotting a good hire is one of the most effective leadership skills.

Leaders won’t just be focused on the technical skills and experience of an employee, but will also value soft skills and consider their potential.

With business technology changing at such a rapid pace, great leaders are also looking for adaptability.

Embracing diversity

Lots of managers buy into the idea of hiring for cultural fit and of course personality is important.

A business wants people who will collaborate well together and are aligned with the vision and values of the organisation.

However, strong business leadership includes the ability to build and sustain diversity in the workplace.

This includes facilitating a culture of inclusion which means being brave enough to hire and lead a diverse group of people.

Placing a focus on employee well-being

A company’s culture has a huge influence on employee happiness and satisfaction.

Poor culture is a roadblock to employee well-being. Great leaders understand this isn’t the way to do business.

A smart leader is willing to put time, effort and resources into employee health and engagement because happy employees are more productive and more likely to stick around.

Motivating individuals and building relationships

motivation

Effective leaders don’t leave motivation to chance. They understand the key drivers of motivation in the workplace.

Most will communicate, share the company vision and build a relationship with employees, regardless of hierarchy.

They also understand the communication problems holding their business back.

Successful leaders know relationships are key. Showing an interest in employees and providing the training, tools, and support to enable employees to do their best at work is a priority for them.

Ask any employee in an organisation with a great leader and a positive culture what motivates them. You’ll find the answer is often feeling cared for and trusted.

Great leaders believe in the people around them and those people equally believe in their leader.

Motivation covers many of the points already raised, such as modeling behaviour, caring about employee well-being and embracing diversity.

But the most effective people have business leadership qualities such as being respectful, honest and supportive.

Importantly, great leaders understand money isn’t the only motivation for employees.

Incentives in a successful business always include recognition and providing room for people to grow.

Getting curious

Great leaders have a thirst for continuous learning and are open to the idea that all employees have something to teach each other. They encourage knowledge sharing and promote collaborative working.

Having a curious mindset enables them to approach business problems and people in an open, unprejudiced way.

Leaders who lack curiosity tend to form narrow-minded and intolerant teams, which can impede business success.

Fostering innovation

In our rapidly changing global economy, the most successful businesses embrace innovation.

Great leaders are able to spot opportunities for growth and foster a working environment that encourages innovation.

They don’t get mad when mistakes are made – they learn from them.

In a positive corporate culture, leaders believe everyone has the capability to come up with valuable ideas. Successful leaders have a natural ability to foster innovation.

Inspiring others

Great leaders inspire others.

They have the ability to bring out the best in people. Ted Talk guru Simon Sinek summed this up when he said: “The most inspirational leaders ignite a spark within their employees and followers that move them to action.” 

The future

There isn’t one thing that defines a great leader, but there are some essential qualities. These revolve around respect, trust, communication and coaching skills.

Successful businesses of the future will plan ahead for succession. Leadership development at all levels is critical for future business success.

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