Leading The Way

In a world where everyone wants to be a leader, what importance do business leaders hold? Especially when it comes to driving a company culture? Well, this is a significantly important role! We all know Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and their role in the growth of their organisations. Does not their success make you wonder why being a leader is so important, and what correlation it has with shaping an organisational culture?

 

A good leader lays down the fabric of organisational culture, and organisational culture is often the driving force behind any business success. Truth be told, leadership and culture are two different crosshairs. It is only when both are coordinated well that we get a well polished organisational culture. It is not something that can be done at one go; building an office culture is an ongoing process and needs constant reviewing.

 

Poor leadership can reinforce wrong values, behaviours, attitudes, and create a toxic culture leading to poor brand image and serious discord in the company's day-to-day function. Therefore, it is very important for a leader to define the prevailing business culture and shape it with behaviours and systems that their work promotes.

 

Hence, it is imperative that you, as a leader, align yourself with the culture you desire before telling your employees to do this. A leader's behaviour sets the tone in any organisation, and their values, actions, and professional development will have a visible effect on the culture they are trying to reinforce. Your first step should be to set an example through word and action (on an everyday basis). And this will gradually gain momentum through structures and policies on which your employees operate.


The best way to shape office culture as per a leader's vision is by setting up an active engagement and reward system. Ways through which employees are treated in terms of imparting knowledge - providing feedback, recognition, and criticism - can tell what behaviours and actions your company likes to value. Forming a strong leadership can be complicated; however, in this changing landscape, the only way for leaders to go forward is to continue to embody the spirit of positivity and change, and inspire the organisation do the same.  
 

Manoj Agarwal is Co-Founder, Xoxoday. He brings over 12 years of experience in technology, product, marketing, and business excellence. He has worked with companies like Yahoo, Manipal Education, and Flipkart in various roles. Manoj is an MBA from IIM Kozhikode.

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