by contributor Amy Rees Anderson
When good leadership is in place in a company, it can be felt throughout the entire organization. With good leadership, corporate culture isn’t forced, it is developed. Communication is daily and open. Everyone understands the vision and goals of the organization, and everyone has input into how they can be improved. Employees feel that they are an important part of the whole and that every job matters within the company. Decisions for promotions are based on picking people of integrity whose talents and experience best fit the positions. Employees are encouraged to compete with their own best to get ahead and they understand that helping their coworkers to succeed is the best way to get ahead themselves. The result of good leadership is high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success.
Bad leadership can also be felt throughout the entire organization – only not in a good way. Corporate culture becomes a meaningless term where leaders claim it exists while employees shake their heads in frustration. There is a lack of clear, consistent communication from leadership to the employees. As a result, the office is run by rumor mill, politics and gamesmanship. Employees are uncertain of the company’s goals and objectives for success and they have no idea how they fit into that picture, or what their level of importance is toward making it happen. Decisions for promotions are not based on integrity or talent, but rather they are based on who can talk the biggest talk or who is deemed to be the least threatening to the current leadership team. Employees are taught play dirty against coworkers to get ahead by watching as it is continuously rewarded by leadership leading to the Lobster Syndrome of tearing one another down throughout the organization. The result of bad leadership is low morale, high turnover, and a decreased ability to have any sustainable success.