The culture that is ingrained in us, our very mindset and attitude and our behavioral approach define us in totality. These norms convey our uniqueness, our capability to stay competitive, agile and our strength to embrace change and grow with it. Likewise, the corporate culture delineates an organization’s core beliefs and groundwork. A well-formulated corporate culture that in sync with the growth-strategy, organizational vision and desired business results forms the bedrock of success for high-performing companies. But does your corporate culture cultivate a leadership mindset across the organization? And why is it necessary at all? Let’s explore.
How to define a leadership mindset
Leaders are often well-defined by their open attitude, humbleness and an insatiable hunger for knowledge. They are always ready to confront, explore and leverage new-age changes and challenges introduced by technological advancements and competition. But there’s something that should be known about leaders – they don’t do things in a rush or simply to get to the next level; rather they aim for the ideal business outcome and they harbor true empathy towards people who are associated with them. Above all, leaders are the ones who pull others up give them a rise by spreading an environment of motivation, inspiration and aspiration. When it comes to a corporate culture, leadership ideally should be taken as an attitude or as a practice than a role or a position.
When we think of a leader, we often imagine an influential CEO in a boardroom, a strong coach leading a team to win or a charismatic political chief leading a party. But when we talk about a corporate culture that needs to cultivate a leadership mindset, we should focus on a leadership attitude as a whole that reverberates within the entire organization. This happens when a company’s employees join hands together to lead in their respective ways in order to elevate the company’s growth and business profits. A corporate culture with leadership mindset is defined by the employees who:
- Influence each other in positive ways
- Sincerely help each other to accomplish goals
- Are always ready to learn, experiment and implement new ideas
- Keep their ego at bay and think of a collective objective
- Give and take constructive criticisms in order to improve
- Push themselves constantly to achieve better results
- Are flexible and agile to accept changes and challenges
- Think and act maturely keeping the larger picture in mind
How organizations can imbibe the values of leadership mindset in its corporate culture
- Foster an environment of equal opportunity for all: Employees tend to naturally adopt a leadership attitude in an organization that foster an attitude of ‘equal opportunity for all’, an enduring sense of inclusivity, and unbiased distribution of works and responsibilities. It doesn’t only make the employees feel important and responsible but also motivates them to be more productive and performance-driven.
- Allow employees to give and take feedback openly and unbiasedly: Organizations who allow and encourage their employees, irrespective of their roles and hierarchical positions to talk openly about their grievances and challenges actually breed an atmosphere of fearlessness that in turn fosters a sense of answerability, creativity and freedom of thought. At the same time. They should exhibit the capability to take contrastive criticisms as a way of self-improvement.
- Enhance employee engagement and team-building programs: An engaged employee is seldom indifferent. It is a must to involve every employee in team-building activities and workshops. Engage every employee in a new project or assignment; at least ask for their opinion and make them feel counted. A leadership mindset is fostered when every employee feels accepted irrespective of their uniqueness and differences in thoughts which plays a vital role in the product roadmap process. Perhaps, everyone has something to offer.
- Combine the aspects of commitment, performance, accountability and vision: Imbibe and combine the values of commitment (where employees are committed to their work/responsibilities/deliverables), performance (help employees perform better every time), accountability (make them feel accountable for their success, achievements, and failures) and vision (sync them all together and direct them towards a common corporate vision). A blend of all these values will keep your employees focused towards achieving the best for themselves and the company at large.
- Encourage employees to upskill themselves by learning a new tool/technology: A leadership mindset is of no use if the people are not knowledgeable and competent enough. An organization’s corporate culture should inspire employees to learn a new trick or tool with a new technology use-case. Upskilling of employees makes them more confident to tackle new challenges or guide a new project that requires new expertise and ability. After all, leadership is not always about delegating works to others while saying encouraging words; it also means you need to get works done by yourself sometimes.
- In order to do this, you need to come out of the “MBA mindset” and encourage employees to take up blended, online-offline learning methods. Even traditional business schools have realized this and come up with leadership and management programs that focus on a combination of vision and execution
An organization with a corporate culture that cultivates a holistic leadership mindset inspires employees to feel and act like an individual leaders, it helps them come out of their comfort zone and take calculated risks and make decisions while keeping the big picture of organizational growth and success in mind. It encourages the company management to look at employees as opportunities that help them explore and utilize their potential to the fullest.
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