Leaders demonstrating new intentions for their company’s culture leads to breakthrough performance.

It is common knowledge that an organization’s culture is shaped by the leadership dynamics at the top.

However, for leadership to effectively shape a culture is an art and a practice. Understanding and attending to each of the nine facets of corporate culture helps you to establish the kind of culture you intend.

One key facet that is essential to success in transforming a culture is leadership dynamics.

As a leader, putting your commitments into clear and obvious actions speaks louder than anything else. Demonstrating the culture you intend to create is a major contributor to your ability to execute on strategy. Viewing your overall leadership style and how others see that, is key to execution.

Leading by regularly diving into a front-line accountability can set the tone for the cultural orientation you intend.

Breakthrough performance in establishing a new culture of service can happen through top management participating side by side with employees.

For example, one very successful bank was committed to creating a strong culture of customer service, satisfaction, and partnership with all employees.

Here are some extraordinary actions they took to demonstrate and reinforce this commitment:

  • Rather than just talking about the service orientation they intended to create, the executives actually listened in on customer calls for several hours each week.
  • In addition, they committed time each month to answering customers calls themselves.
  • They organized the building so that management could listen in to calls by having “listening rooms” on each floor.

These activities taken together communicated and reinforced the fact that creating a culture of great service was at the heart of their organization’s culture.

At the same time, through being intimately connected with their customers and the people who served them, they were able to see creative ways to improve their customer relations.

They also came up with additional ways to “be of service” to the employees through such actions as serving lunch to them during holidays.

The atmosphere of an organization is set from the top, but not every leader acts decisively so that intended values become woven into the fabric of the culture across the board. When you do take such actions, they can lead to breakthrough performance and unprecedented value for your customers.

What actions are you taking to participate directly with your colleagues to build the culture you and your leadership intend?

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