It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue … but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look …
– Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet, and philosopher
Before we can learn to lead, we must learn about the context that limits the full expression of leadership. Indeed, anyone who does not master the context will be mastered by it.
– Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith, Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader
In many organizations, culture is the most potent and hard-to-replicate source of competitive advantage — far more important, for example, than technological innovation. By the time the superior performance it produces comes to the attention of competitors and the public, an organization’s culture is well established and doing its job … one responsibility that can’t be delegated completely is reshaping and maintaining an effective culture.
– James Heskett, The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance
Habit becomes a sort of second nature, which supplies a motive for many actions.
– Cicero, Roman philosopher and politician
Leaders own the job of creating the company culture. You’ve got to actually model and encourage the behavior you talk up.
– Patty McCord, “How Netflix Reinvented HR,” Harvard Business Review
Change begins when emotionally intelligent leaders actively question the emotional reality and the cultural norms underlying the group’s daily activities and behavior. To create resonance — and results — the leader has to pay attention to the hidden dimensions: people’s emotions, the undercurrents of the emotional reality in the organization, and the culture that holds it all together.
– Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
All the 10X companies cultivated cult-like cultures wherein the right people would flourish and equally, where the wrong people would quickly self-eject.
– Jim Collins and Morten Hansen, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All