27 Leadership and Culture Tips from the Pros

By David Hassell

In a world where nearly 3/4 employees are not “fully engaged” (i.e. productive), how are the best of the best leading their teams and shaping their cultures? Inquiring minds want to know. So, we decided to find out. Below, you’ll find 27 leadership and culture tips from pros who have been there, done that.

Might as well learn from the best, right?

1. “Studies have shown that only 7% of our impact is through the text and words we say, 93% is in how we ‘show up’ energetically, our beliefs, our presence, even our posture. That’s pretty significant. And it means you have super powers.” ~@anesecavanaugh

2. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” ~@neilpatel

3. “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea.” ~Larry Page

4. “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” ~@johncmaxwell

5. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” ~@billgates

6. “Leadership is not a rank, it’s a responsibility.” ~@simonsinek

7. “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.” ~Dee Hock

8. “Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing.” ~@dharmesh

9. “Shaping your culture is more than half done when you hire your team.” ~@jessicaherrin

10. “You can’t motivate people, you can only create a context in which people are motivated.” ~@bfeld

11. “Everyone has an idea. But it’s really about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you work on the idea.” ~@jack

12. “If you don’t have a passion for your customers… you won’t create a company, you’ll create a job.” ~@danmartell

13. “Leaders that tap into the hopes, dreams and strengths of the team create a magical culture that hums with possibility.” ~@allipolin

14. “Let everyone know where you need help, or where there is room for improvement. When that part-time assistant hears that there’s a bottleneck in inter-organizational communication (and that you welcome ideas for solving it), she may well go home, brew up a pot of coffee, and, using her front-line experience, come up with a brilliant idea for breaking the bottleneck.” ~@meghanmbiro

15. “Career advancement is crucial to keeping employees in the game not only for themselves, but also as creative engaged workers who will be enthusiastic about company interests.” ~@judymartin8

16. “If management is the only way up, we’re all f’d. I worry today when an individual contributor is great at their job and expresses an interest in people management. I worry that some significant portion of that expressed desire doesn’t come from a true passion for the responsibilities of people managing, but instead exists because they want to level up their career and/or influence and believe this to be the only path.” ~@randfish

17. “Thinking about your purpose is actually pretty crucial to your success as a company and a brand: Not only does it give customers something to believe in, but it will inspire your team to think bigger, and make your product better.” ~@hnshah

18. “I think working virtually is the future. I like offices, and I love coworking with people, but I don’t think a 9-6 office environment is necessary to create a productive workforce. Often it’s more harmful than helpful.” ~@marenkate

19. “When I think back to every moment someone mentioned ‘being realistic’, I’ve actually realized that it is merely an expression of fear of failure. Being realistic purely shows that you believe something can’t be done.” ~@leowid

20. “There’s no right or wrong with culture, it is simply a combination of natural personality of the founding team in addition to proactive work to push the culture in a desired direction and to maintain certain values.” ~@joelgascoigne

21. “You have to be true to who you are in a way that helps you achieve your goals. For me that meant being open about my opinions and taking stands when I thought they were important. I think more people should take the time to identify what’s unique about them and to use it.” ~@lisabarone

22. “Considering the compelling case for the value of vision, it’s strikingly absent these days. Vision makes work meaningful and helps us see our commonalities and trust we share the same goals and values. Vision helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves.” ~@jesselynstoner

23. “Being genuinely interested in the people around me. I don’t ask ‘how’s your weekend’ as a set phrase. I really want to know. I take a fair bit of time every day to chat with people across all departments – doesn’t matter if they report to me or not.” ~@danielweinand

24. “Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life?’ Do that.” ~@garyvee

25. “Collaboration is not a one-time event nor is it easy to implement without practice. Collaboration is a process that continues to get better over time. The more people collaborate, the more significant their working relationships become and teams are better able to share and discuss ideas, leading to more successful results.” ~@nancyrubin

26. “Your job is to create a vision, a culture, to get the right people on the bus, and to inspire. When you look around at a team that believes in the vision as much as you do and trusts you will do the right thing all the time, it’s a feeling that can’t be explained.” ~@pdejoe

27. “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” ~@johncmaxwell

Which tip did you like the most? Which leaders and companies are getting it right in this unengaged world of work? Leave a comment below to let us know.

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