We all know the importance of company culture, but we are less clear on just how to create it. Culture drives an organization’s performance, engages its employees, and inspires a clearly defined direction and link to a meaningful mission. However, in order for a strong company culture to grow and thrive, it needs to be led by strong leaders.
Whether they acknowledge it or not, leaders of organizations positively or negatively influence the culture. Leaders impact culture with their behaviors, how they respond, what they say and how they act on a daily basis. Leaders can undermine the confidence and trust of employees, or subconsciously dial up the fear and tension in the workplace or they can inspire teams to give their full effort, commit and contribute to achieving results.
The need for leadership development is more important than ever and companies are realizing that techniques that once worked in the past may need to be reinvented to meet today’s needs.
Why the next generation of leaders need training
More and more we are seeing an early rise to senior roles. Young motivated professionals who have the skills of the job, but may lack the experience of leading and managing people that comes from years of working alongside others.
This kind of worker is used to getting things done by working alone - and excelling! How else do you think they rose above all of their peers to achieve so much so quickly? This trend in young managers is producing a generation of leaders that don’t know how to support a team to succeed. This gap isn’t permanent, but it does provide a great opportunity for growth.
3 Benefits of Strong Leaders
Encourage a drive to learn
Whether an entry-level or senior-level employee, there’s always something new that we can learn and apply to our work lives. By developing new leaders you set them on a course that prepares them for the challenges of engaging their teams, supporting each other and building trust with their teammates. Leadership development will reinforce a culture of continuous learning and set an example for all employees that your company values continuous growth and development. This mindset will go along ways in strengthening your culture.
In order for a work culture to thrive, it needs thought leaders - leaders willing to take a stand and embody the mission. Thought leaders don’t just talk the talk, but they walk the walk. They are seen taking an active role in what they are preaching. They inspire and motivate with new ideas and are willing to change the way things have always been done.
Strengthens the Team
Leaders than learn together, bond together. Another benefit of leadership development is the relationships that are created by the common experience of learning new skills together. The effort of moving up the ladder of competence with a colleague, provides an important and lasting commonality that creates lasting bonds. The trust and courage that can emerge from a graduate school-like cohort can literally change the trajectory of your business. So if you want to have a strong culture, learn something new together.
Your leaders impact your culture. Great culture requires great leaders. One cannot exist without the other, it's as simple as that.