Sunday, July 7, 2013

Leadership Jigsaw: Does Culture influence the Leader or does Leader influence the culture?

Culture is like a "tide," even leaders are swimming with or against much of it. 

Culture is more of an anthropological concept.  Everyone is influenced by culture but just a few can influence culture. Leadership is an influence, however, does culture influence the leader or does leader influence the culture?

Culture can be influenced by leaders: Using a mix of cognitive and emotive processes, it flows down to leader-followers exchange dynamics. A leader can have more influence on steering the culture to evolve in different directions depending on their unique strengths, strategies and particularly their relationships

 The leader needs to "learn" much about the culture: Leaders, however, should not be ‘overwhelmingly’ influenced by it. A leader can be "taught" about or by a culture without being influenced by it. A leader can influence/enhance the culture. A leader who is completely influenced by the existing culture would no longer have the ability to evolve it because their vision would be narrowed and blurred..........

Passion and Purpose are very good energies that are contagious, a leader:
-Know where you're going, and why it's important;
-Know that people need clarity, so be clear about direction;
-Know what to take with you and what to leave behind;
-Know what your values are...industriousness, knowledge, respect, courtesy, honesty, empathy, fairness, openness, quality, cooperation, caring, and build an organization to support them;

 Leadership is a balancing act. The leader must balance empowerment of the people with the expectations that they need to meet;
-Know what behaviors are acceptable and what needs to be improved.
-Know the powerful advocates of the new culture and understand the inertia of old one;
-Know that you must applaud and acknowledge success and congruent behavior, and set a line upon which behaviors can or can not be tolerated
-Know that walking, talking, questioning, listening, helping people to see themselves in the new world is vital to the success of the new culture

 "Choose Your Attitude" means taking responsibility. Culture is the attitude.

-Know its hard work, and it's worth it;
-Know sometimes you should let it go with culture factor; sometimes you should take a lead to influence and reshape it;
-Know the aspects of the culture influence a person's decision-making. Still, a person can overcome culture limitations or stigmas to be a leader by remaining open to new thoughts;
-Know to achieve more influence with people outside of their sphere of influence.

     Culture is like a "tide," even leaders are swimming with or against much of it. Leaders need to build up a "tidal defense system” in an environment where the negativity does not go down further than them; it is the leader who has to create or to reinforce culture by the exemplarity of his/her mind and act.

 Transforming into a learning organization via cultivating the culture of innovation.  It could be a challenge to change the culture without making major structural changes. That's not so one-dimensional as it sounds as it involves developing and promoting a sound shared vision that everyone can buy into and make sure that changes you make are at the heart of the organization. Understanding the internal value systems and the embedded workstyles of your own employees should be the first step, with re-defining your business context as the second step.


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