21 Quotes That Show The Importance of Culture

If I could make one recommendation to any leader it would be to understand the power of culture and to focus on building the right culture for their teams. When you can master culture then you can master anything and this will put you in high demand.

Here are twenty quotes on leadership that I hope will show you the value and benefit of culture.

Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.  David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot

Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.  Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM

In determining the right people, the good-to-great companies placed greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience. Jim Collins, Business consultant and author of Good to Great 

Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers — poets, actors, journalists — they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don’t fight science and they don’t fight technology. Neil Degrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator

Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.  Anne M. Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox

The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. Simon Sinek, Author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant

There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow …It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it…  Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. Stephen R. Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candour, if unchecked, ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments. Ed Catmull, President of Pixar

The biggest challenge was to restore a dying organization, which was losing money, to growth and profitability. The first steps were not: Cutting costs, developing new products and/or services, inventing clever new marketing concepts, or clever advertising! Instead, the first steps were: Rebuilding a culture where all employees were a family, striving for a “shared” success! The basis for this success turned out to be winning major races again. Peter Schutz, Retired CEO of Porsche AG Worldwide

Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simple way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb

An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.  Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation. Doris Kearns Goodwin, American biographer, historian, and political commentator

Leadership is absolutely about inspiring action, but it is also about guarding against mis-action. Simon Sinek, Author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant

You want to set goals that you can hit, so when you start hitting them, you can celebrate those wins. People start trusting in your way of projecting the business.  Wiley Cerilli, Founder and former CEO of SinglePlatform

If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning. John Mackey, Whole Foods

A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build the foundation. Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb

Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity and meaning in their job. Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard, Co-author of The One Minute Manager

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise. Charles Schwab, American investor, financial executive and philanthropist

Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day. Frances Hesselbein, Former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA.

A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains. Sell them on your roadmap and don’t compromise — care about the details, the fit and finish. Kevin Rose, Founder of Digg and Partner at Google