The success of an organization depends on a strong organizational culture, which is fostered by strong leadership. The tricky part in creating that culture though, is that sound leadership is not a linear journey. It’s not as if you can simply follow a single leadership method, become an effective leader and therefore, create a strong culture overnight.
Sometimes it takes a more gradual and holistic approach over time.
Here are three ways to take a holistic approach to leadership:
1. Articulate the Values of your Company
It’s hard to cultivate the culture you want if you’re not clear on what that looks like. You have to clearly define the expectations you have of your leaders and know exactly how you’d like them to contribute. Get feedback from your employees at all levels and use a site like Glassdoor for negative feedback about your culture that you might not be able to get from them face to face. This will help identify what needs attention and changing. From there, define what you want your culture to be and create a list of values and principles that will uphold it.
2. Hold Leaders Accountable
There must be a way to measure the success of your leadership. Hold managers accountable to carrying out the values of your organization and working to cultivate the culture by surveying their teams. Encourage them through recognition and give those falling behind the resources and training to be able to improve.
In order to improve, you simply must gather the appropriate data and analyze it. Use surveys to gauge engagement, satisfaction and organizational pride among employees. When employees are engaged and enthusiastic about their workplace, you know the culture is strong and leadership is effective. But be sure to analyze down to the bottom line as well, as engaged employees typically perform better and therefore effective leaders typically have more efficient teams, increasing sales and output.
A holistic approach to leadership is really the only effective approach. You have to understand your own unique organizational culture. You must be able to hold leaders accountable to seeing that vision through. And you must analyze real data gathered from your workforce to gage the effectiveness of both. Good leadership leads to strong culture, which leaders to successful organizations. And the best leaders are the ones who see the bigger picture, how it all works together, and put in the hard work to improve the organization as a whole over time.