5 ways a leader can influence his company’s culture

A strong work culture starts with strong leadership. Here’s how you can encourage behaviour that leads the way forward. By Satyaki Sarkar

When it comes to a corporate environment, a leader’s behaviour, body language and mannerisms can have a huge impact on the team and by extension the organisation as a whole. A strong leader who oozes confidence, passion, and resolve promotes a healthy work environment, while a loud, insecure, and irresponsible leader encourages others to do the same. Here are five ways you can influence your organisational culture for the better.

1. Lead by example
A leader’s job is to lead, and not just by what he/she says and expects from the team, but also by what he/she does. A team always looks up to its leader and takes its cues from him/her. So what a leader does, says, and embodies makes a huge different. To truly inspire you need to walk the talk. Leaders must uphold themselves to the ideals and expectations they have of their teams. If they expect the best, then they too must be ready to put in their best and do what it takes to get the job done. They must show the team that they are willing to uphold themselves to the same standards and set the bar high, so that the team can follow. This attitude and behaviour can inspire others to follow and being about a change in the work environment.

2. Have a purpose
A leader without a purpose is not a leader. Everyone, no matter how senior or junior they are, needs a purpose, in life and at work. Something to strive towards, something that holds their interest and attention. Otherwise you risk complacency, nonchalance, and indifference. So it’s up to the leader to have a vision, a purpose and communicate that to the team. This way the team members will better understand their role in the organisation and how they are contributing to its growth. They will be motivated to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities, so as to fulfil that purpose and achieve the goal that they have been assigned.

3. Enable your team meet their goals
Simply assigning someone a goal, however, is also not enough. In order to really impact change, a leader must also provide the tools and opportunities needed for team members to hone their skills and work to their full potential. This not only increases their confidence in themselves, but helps them understand and adapt to what is expected of them. Setting personal goals for each person gives them something to aim for, while the skills that you help develop enable them to actually achieve them.

4. Imbibe a sense of responsibility and accountability
Ownership and responsibility is another element that can completely transform the organisational environment. When a leader holds someone accountable for their actions, it shows that nobody can remain uninvolved and unaffected in light of their responsibilities. It teaches the employees take ownership for their actions, and eventually, even take up a leadership role themselves. It helps maintain the leader’s influence, reinforces authority and improves transparency. On the other hand, when leaders take accountability for their team, it fosters a feeling of belonging and togetherness that further motivates employees to work sincerely.

5. Build a personal connect
One of the best ways that a leader can influence people is by making them feel a personal connection between themselves, with the leader, and the company. Being professional, establishing goals, and imbibing accountability can teach them what they should be doing, but it is an emotional and personal connection with their leader that will make them want to do it voluntarily. A leader must know his/her team personally, what motivate them, what personal goals do the have, what are they troubled by. These help build a more personal relationship with the team, and encourages a free exchange of ideas, thoughts and problems. An approachable leader is always more successful than one who is cut off from his/her team.

Photograph: Pressfoto/ 

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