Culture includes codes of manners, dress, language, rituals, behavioural attribute, morals, systems and belief. It is increasingly seen as a process, a complex set of features involving the social transmittance of behaviour among peers, family, ethnic groups and between generations. Where does the word Culture stem from? It has many roots. The Latin connotation of the word cultura indicates ‘growing, cultivation.
Many cultures through the ages have regarded even animals and birds as representing gods, power or the supernatural.
In the study of anthropology, Culture is defined as, "sets of learned behavior and ideas that human beings acquire as members of society. Human beings use culture to adapt to and transform the world in which they live."
History is a great tutor on leadership and culture in teams. King Xerxes was one of the greatest Persian leaders. His constant focus was on control, conquest, and building projects. He built a belief system and culture among his teams of for being hostile and aggressive. That was the culture of the Persian army under his leadership.
On the other hand Alexander the Great was known for his military genius and diplomatic skills. He became a leader at the tender age of 20years after his father’s assassination. He built a belief system of determination and grit among the people of Greece who believed that they were the greatest rulers of the world.
As an organizational leader, my constant endeavour and learning has been to lead from the front. Imbibe a set of values & beliefs in my system. These includes belief in people.
(Teams come first), integrity, honesty, innovation and coaching approach. These set of beliefs have defined the culture in our organization. Leading from the front as a “visionary” has helped strengthen the belief in my teams!
I think this is what needs to be constantly embedded in leaders. We need to constantly grow, inculcate the habit of cultivating the belief system, the vision among all levels of the organization. Culture has to be a “Top- Down” approach.
This is where I truly admire the Maasai tribe whose culture is deeply driven by their Leaders. Their entire culture is based on “family values”. Children and cattle being the backbone of their family.
Cultures defines the DNA of organizations. The key is that you must care about your culture and prioritize it among teams.
So what are you doing to shape your organization culture in a constructive direction? Share your thoughts!
About the author- Farhad K Cooper is the Managing Director of Amfico Agencies Pvt Ltd.
A visionary who believes innovation is the key to survival at every stage of business.