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4 Keys to Developing Business & Leadership Culture Today

A successful business thrives in a healthy culture where employees remain productive and collegial. A powerful contributing force to this culture is the leadership that inspires and motivates from within the organization. While many leadership styles have proven effective, most if not all share four common characteristics that lead to proven results. Companies look for qualities like these to train, promote, and reward in leadership positions.

1. Confidence

A leadership culture involves building confidence as a foundation for decision-making. It starts with the leadership and trickles down through the departmental tiers. Strong leaders need confidence in their ability to lead and in the company that employs them, as well as in colleagues who carry out the day-to-day operations.

Confidence is a blend of boldness tempered by knowledge. Good leaders must be visionary not only for themselves, but also for the company. They have accumulated significant knowledge through education, experience, or both that is used to benefit everyone associated with the organization.

Without confidence, many plans will fail, no matter how promising they otherwise are. Great leaders step out in faith that stems from their confidence and from their trust in others within the company who are willing to follow.

Confidence is a blend of boldness tempered by knowledge. @ZipRecruiter

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2. Insight

An effective leader attains insight, which is a compilation of information, observation, and experience. Some leaders become insightful more quickly than others due to an intuitive nature or the ability to grasp new concepts readily. Ranging from a fast start to a slow study, insightful leaders look below the surface to find greater meaning in the depths.

Insight in varying degrees is accessible by almost anyone. But it takes a responsible, thoughtful person to look for and grasp it, and then to apply insight to a variety of situations that demand a leader’s direction.

In a business culture that strives for excellence, insight manifests in the leader’s ability to study and evaluate many aspects of the company individually, and then piece them together for a composite overview of the entire organization. Prior experience will then lend itself to current problem-solving and the ability to prepare for the future.

3. Humility

A working definition of humility is power under control. A humble person does not display false modesty or think too little of himself or herself. Rather, a humble person takes a realistic view of personal strengths that can be utilized and weaknesses to be overcome. This type of leader continually strives to lead by example.

Many humble men have risen to great heights of leadership to inspire others. Figures like Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi come to mind.

Humility derives from honest self-assessment and the ability to fairly and objectively assess others. Humble leaders recognize that their vision can be harnessed to employees’ skills to reach strategic goals.

Great leaders recognize their vision can be harnessed to employees’ skills to reach strategic goals.

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4. Humor

While it may seem odd to include humor as a key characteristic of business and leadership culture, it makes sense when you think about it. A leader who is persistently grim can cast a shadow over a company’s employees. Someone who takes himself or herself, and others, seriously all the time may limit others’ creativity for fear of failure.

On the other hand, a leader with a sense of humor can lighten anyone’s load. A smile costs nothing, and yet it may reap great rewards. Laughter does the body and soul good, and what better source than the organization’s leader to set a positive example?

Appropriate humor when used suitably to uplift rather than demean is a valuable trait. It reduces stress, lifts moods, and puts everyone in a better mood. Someone who makes light of an honest mistake can put others at ease.

Experts may argue the value of various business and leadership culture qualities without reaching consensus. Those outlined above can be found in the majority of hugely successful enterprises today. Although some leaders may not have all the above, any of these qualities can be developed or accented with effort.


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Amy Klimek

Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, she was employee #7 at, where she first worked with ZipRecruiter’s founders. Her philosophy on human resources infuses the company culture: “To create an open, enriching environment by hiring the best, keeping the rules to a minimum and making it fun.” She’s married and has three active children to whom who she enjoys playing chauffeur.

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