Leaders need to know that character can be vital to company culture


We hear a lot about culture in business. Right now, many leaders are using the need to maintain it as a reason to encourage people to return to the office. But, important as culture may be, it is not the only non-financial factor for success.

In fact, it is a complex area. Many successful businesses have strong cultures that do not include everyone or are not sustainable. The early years of carpooling Uber offers a case in point. Dara khosrowshahi, who succeeded Travis Kalanick as chief executive, acknowledged that he needed to focus on repairing the effects of an unmanaged culture on the company’s reputation.

But things don’t have to turn that drastically wrong to establish a culture not to deliver the results that leaders expect. A new book from the CEO of the cloud-based business performance company Anaplan, quotes a 2018 PwC investigation this indicated that while business leaders tend to think of their organizations as having great cultures, their employees don’t necessarily agree.

In Law, Frank A. Calderoni explores what he sees as the vital missing ingredient – the character. He argues that, “just as a great culture creates a competitive advantage, so does the definition and maintenance of a law character of the company. He adds, “Companies with integrity embrace and embody the virtues of empathy, courage, authenticity, honesty, integrity, respect and more.

But he doesn’t pretend it’s easy. In fact, it highlights the hard work of some great organizations to make sure their cultures deliver the right business results, just as they make sure their companies deliver products and financial terms. For example, he says it’s amazing that the operator of Disney theme parks is able to guarantee that “the same teens who might consistently stay up late to play video games or hang out with their friends will wake up. looking forward to 6 am to come to work. for Disney with a smile on his face, ready for the day. He explains that the company attributes this to the unique culture it engenders – which involves instilling pride in employees in everything they do, whether it’s sweeping up trash or dressing up as a character. cartoon, to make them feel valued and give them a purpose – and that in turn turns “brooding teens into stellar employees.”

Calderoni sees corporate culture as distinct from the character of the company. Culture, he writes, is the system of beliefs, values, goals, behaviors, and how employees feel about working in the organization. Describing her as the personality of the organization, he says: “Culture changes over time, often adapts to change in leadership and needs to be actively managed. Character, on the other hand, is the integrity, respect and courage that are at the heart of an organization’s culture. “It’s the basis of the trust and emotional connection people have with your organization – measured by the distance between what you say and what you do,” Calderoni writes. “It’s won as much as it is defined.”

Now more than ever, he says, “the leaders of every organization and every industry” need to put character at the center of everything they do. This character must be based on values ​​of integrity that guide behavior while embracing the things that have always been good for business – the pursuit of excellence and respect for both individuals and the communities in which they do business. “The character we present as leaders has a profound influence on the culture of our organizations,” writes Calderoni. “And for hyper-growing, adaptive, customer-centric businesses in our age of digital transformation, character-centric culture is a strategy. “

We probably recognize leaders of integrity. They are, says the author, genuine and responsible, have clear personal beliefs, promote inclusion, and focus on growth. Calderoni emphasizes that for organizations, integrity means:

  • They work with a larger purpose. This purpose is clear and shared with the aim of creating value for all stakeholders, the communities where they operate as well as investors, employees, customers and partners.
  • They are guided by values. They define, communicate and reinforce strong values ​​that are universally recognized, are used for decision making and guide organizational behavior.
  • They follow up on convictions. They constantly insist on doing what they say they are going to do. At a time when investors increasingly hold companies to account on environmental, social and governance issues, they realize that stakeholder trust is tied to their commitment to their purpose and their beliefs.
  • They answer the call in difficult times. These companies will do what is necessary when faced with a crisis, guided by the character traits of integrity in themselves and in their leaders.


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