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Building a Culture of Leadership in Successful Businesses

Jul 8, 2008
Having a culture of leadership is an important element to success, at least if you want that success to be maintained over the long term in today's Australian economy.

Time was that companies could look to a single great leader to inspire them, like some great rugby or football coach running a team of largely mediocre athletic talent so forcefully that he takes it to the heights of a champion. But those days are vanishing. Today business runs so fast, there is much data, there are so many new products and services and technologies to keep track of, that there cannot be only one leader most of the time. There needs to be a whole culture of leadership in the company, a culture that promotes and rewards anyone taking the helm when the time is right. Each single department within a company now needs at least one leader.

Here in the global and national economic dynamic of New South Wales, a culture of leadership in business will mirror the plans of the State as Australia's economy continues to soar into the 21st century. In its plan, the State of NSW says, "a strong economy allows us to provide the excellent services such as healthcare, education, and policing which the public expects...we are...innovative people who want a society built on fairness, equity, and collaboration...(a) society built on these principles will be more productive, wealthier, and fairer."

This is also the way the 21st century company should be run.


A company's top management needs to get everyone in the organisation on the same page. Everyone has to want the same things and share extremely similar objectives for the company. In this way, everyone's individual and departmental efforts are going toward the same ends, reducing strife and maximising productivity of the company as a dynamic organisation. When people in a company feel inspired and feel that they are creating value, they are naturally motivated and whatever individual leadership talents they possess naturally begin to emerge for the benefit of all.

A company where everyone shares a single vision, where there is trust and an absence of conflicts of interests within the organisation, is a company which comes up with innovations and is one well prepared to take the risks. This is a company that can really grow.

Since people are so conditioned to always be in competition with one another in the business world, this can at first be a difficult thing to bring about. The top management must give people a push towards this goal by encouraging them to share their insights and feelings among their departments and perhaps even on a company wide level.


People within the company must be brought around to a way of thinking which lets them take new and different possibilities into account. This is the way that top management thinks, but this view must be inculcated company wide. People have to be shown that it is OK to think outside the box and come up with truly new ways of doing things. One way to do this is to get people to sit down and think about some questions which pertain to them personally. These can include: "where do you see yourself in five years? In ten? How about your retirement party, what do you think will be said about you?" Questions about what are the positives - and the negatives of the company could be asked, along with questions dealing with how to handle unforeseen events are good ways to foster this sort of creative thinking.

Management should then sit down and look carefully at what people have said. This should be shared with team leaders and department heads and then on down to everyone, who can then think more about what has been learned through this exercise.


Now that the entire company is on the same page and everybody within the organisation is working towards a common vision of growth and success for the company, a plan for success can be plotted out. Each department will have its own goals to meet. These all will help the company on its way to the common goal which all will work to achieve. Top management will both steer the ship and act as cheerleaders for the company as it moves forward to ever greater success.

Having a culture of leadership firmly in place will lead to greater productivity and profitability through the use of creative, forward looking thinking by everyone in the company.
About the Author
About the author: Rha K. Cardinale is an expert at transforming companies and developing a culture of innovation . Visit "Great Leadership" website for more information on building innovative teams
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