Leadership that outperforms is heart-centric, it is intuitive and intelligent, and it listens to its own heart to inform its mind, and to guide its actions. It can reshape lives by reshaping culture.
Due to external forces, and internal pressure, organizational culture is fluid, and because it is ever changing it often fails to reflect the static mission statement on the wall. Culture is composed of values in action and values work is a distributed, relational, interactive, and ongoing process (Gehman, Treviño, and Garud, 2013). Yet culture (value) creation can be consistently guided and thus grounded so that it can adapt and remain reflective of the guiding principles and mission of the organization. However, this assumes that there is leadership in place that can do more than loudly pronounce the mission statement at corporate-wide meetings and instead can actively demonstrate and integrate the values into the very fabric of the organization. When you have these transformational leaders in place then every conversation, decision, and concept is guided by the core values of the company, and their behavior is emulated and thus culture is spread and formed because of observable action versus words on a poster.
What this means is that organizations must recognize that it is the people, and their actions, in alignment with core values that creates culture, and shapes the brand and dictates performance. It is the realization that there are a number of component parts that come together to actively propel the company forward. Therefore leadership must possess, integrate and support agility, autonomy, emotional intelligence, intellectual development, and technical expertise, along with the confidence to make the tough decisions, the ability to be patient, and the willingness to embrace ethical behavior as a strength and not a weakness. It is the collective mindset, steeped in wisdom that moves purposefully, that will shape sustainable businesses, with long-term vision.
When leadership responds, instead of reacts, when it can be actively patient in crisis, when it can remain strong while being pressured to ignore personal accountability in favor of personal gain, then it can lead, and work to fit the pieces together understanding that trying to force a singular perspective cannot serve the diverse nature of organizations. Too often we witness the quick fix that serves the few and leaves shattered the many. This desire to decide without wisdom creates chaos in opposition to values. Leadership must recognize that the only culture that will grow is one that is collective, and communal. What’s killing #leadership and #organizations is not their lack of knowledge, but their desire to find the single solution instead of creating a whole #culture composed of core human values. Culture is the heart of the company, it informs behavior, and it is one organ, made up of millions of actions and people.