Is Corporate Culture Abstract?

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In a business organization, culture is synonymous with corporate or company culture. It refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. It is somewhat like ‘the operating system’ of the organization. It guides how employees think, act and feel. As such, corporate culture is an essential component in any business’s ultimate success or failure.

Culture as a Socially Learned Systems

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Despite the diversity of cultural perspectives, one thing is common with regard to culture: culture is a socially-learned system in society or social organization, not a natural and biologically-determined reality. Thus, if culture is a socially learned system, then it can be changed and unlearned. It’s not fixed and immutable as many thought it to be. In fact, with the current globalization age, corporate cultures in the world are changing so fast because of cultural diffusion brought about by the transnational operation of a business, merger, acquisition, outsourcing, and networking of companies or multinational corporations. The major issue, therefore, is not whether a culture can be changed or not, but whether the person or group who wants to change it, particularly a toxic culture, has sufficient resource, influence, and political will to effect the intended change. Take note that culture change in a business organization can originate from the top with business owners and top managers initiating the change, or from below with organized groups or workers initiating the change. In the case of a merger, the change can come from an outside force, especially if the mother company is much bigger than the acquired firm.

Corporate Culture as a Lived Experience

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Corporate culture is, therefore, a lived experience. It affects both the cognitive and material or behavioral aspects of people’s lives. It affects the workers’ social and economic life in the firm. If the firm, for instance, often delays the release of salaries due to bad management, the rank-and-file employees and their families would literally starve. Or if the firm does not provide skills training or career development for its employees and managers, the company’s productivity and brand can be affected. The point here is: Culture is not just an abstract reality, but, above all, a lived reality that affects all the members of a corporate community.

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As a lived experience, corporate culture is experiential. Its totality could not be described on paper since it is the entire way of life of a particular business organization. It can only be fully understood and felt by people if they are immersed in it, participating in its day-to-day activities for a considerable period of time. Once people become regular members of the company as employees or managers and actively interacting with people, structures, and rules, they would soon discover the firm’s basic cultural patterns.  Thus, people could not fully understand and appreciate the generosity of Google’s corporate culture to its employees and managers if they are not part of the internal culture of the company.

This internal view of the corporate life by insiders is what anthropologists call as the emic perspective (insider’s view). Job seekers who do not have any idea of the inner workings of the internal culture of the hiring company may soon be discouraged or shocked if they discover as new employees that the corporate image of their new employer as projected in the social or mass media is not what they actually live or experience inside the company. Thus, acquiring an internal knowledge of a corporate culture can only be understood if one is part of the corporate community. Nonmembers can only gain the etic (observer’s perspective) or external knowledge of the firm’s culture. Only insiders such as employees and managers can feel and understand the basic patterns of their corporate culture as they belong to the firm’s corporate structure.

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An outsider or visitor may discover partially some of the firm’s cultural traits from afar but could not discover and live its basic cultural patterns and inner dynamics. But for an insider, a corporate culture can become too familiar to him or her that he or she can label its corporate culture as “toxic”, “employee-friendly” or”damaged”. Of course, these terms do not totally capture the complex patterns of the company’s culture, but they provide people an overall image on how to describe the basic cultural orientation of the firm. They can become a useful guide for top managers in changing or reforming the corporate life of the firm as well as for recruiters in selecting applicants who can fit into the corporate culture of the hiring firm.

Conclusion

Corporate culture is, therefore, not purely an abstract thing, but a lived reality. It may appear as an abstract reality mentally at the onset. But when one participates in the firm’s daily life, corporate culture becomes a “real” thing that affects the mental and physical life of people inside and even outside the company. It becomes the basic mold that shapes the corporate lives of employees and managers as long as they remain members of the business organization. Corporate culture is therefore like ‘the operating system’ of the business organization that guides people and employees on how to think, act, and feel inside the company.

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How to Be a Good and Effective Manager-Leader

Introduction

A good manager must not only possess superior technical skills but also social managerial skills. After all, the primary role of the manager is to guide and supervise people under his/her care, not machines and robots. The word “good” here implies a value judgment and a set of standards of what constitutes a good or bad trait. And since business has diverse standards of what constitutes a “good” or “bad” manager, it is expected that what is good in one company may be not good in another company. What is common, however, is that all managers, regardless of the type and size of business, deal with people and employees with different personality, attitude, ability, talent, and experience in the company. Like a conductor in an orchestra, a good manager is one who knows how to blend and unify the various social circumstances of his/her employees in the workplace to achieve the company’s short and long-term goals. What makes a manager different from a rank-and-file employee is his/her discretionary power. S/he has the power when and how a company policy or goal can be actualized in the workplace through his/her intervention. Thus, a manager who has 4 of the traits below can be considered “good” and effective in today’s global age.

1. Familiar with the company’s organizational Culture.

First of all, a good manager must be familiar with the organizational culture of the company. This trait requires that the manager must be observant, analytical, broad-minded and with longer exposure in the company. S/he should have a firm grasp of “how things work” inside the organization: the goals, rules and sanctions of the company, internal politics and the degree of influence of power cliques inside the firm, as well as the overall social networking process inside and outside the company. The more the manager is familiar with the overall system of the company, the more s/he can be effective to fit his/her own office or area of responsibility in the overall scheme and direction of the business firm.With his/her superior knowledge of the culture or “way of life” of people inside his/her company, s/he can “make things done” despite bureaucratic limitations and obstacles.

In particular, s/he must know whether his/her company is generally personalistic, that is, social interaction and transaction are basically based on social ties rather than on qualification and merit. In sole proprietorship or smaller enterprises, the employees are usually affiliated with owners as relative, friend or co-ethic. Thus, the manager must be careful in dealing with employees who are close to the owners. But in highly complex and rational system of big companies, merit, rather social ties, usually predominats the overall cultural system of the business firm. In this case, the manager can be more efficient and professional in dealing with employees and situations in his/her office or area of responsibility.

2. Prudent in his/her exercise of managerial power and authority.

A manager must be prudent in the exercise of his/her power and authority in the company. Authority is a legitimate form of power delegated by the company to the manager in administering the firm as specified in the company’s manual. In theory, the manager must only act within the scope of his/her authority. But in some cases, s/he goes beyond this boundary such as dominating or bullying his/her employees–and thus act using his/her personal power and status rather than his/her authority. S/he must remember the saying: “If there is power, there is resistance”! If the manager wants to avoid nasty rumors and gossip from his/her subordinate, s/he must exercise moderation and prudence with regard to power and authority. This does not mean that s/he should not show anger especially if the situation requires it to achieve targets. What is important is that the employee must feel that the coercion was done by the manager in good faith and for the good of the company and not as a response to a grudge.

Active Resistance

If employees sense that their manager goes beyond his/her authority and thus abuse his/her power, active and passive social resistance would more likely occur. Active resistance is an overt or open form of opposition to the manager’s management style. Unreasonable impositions by the manager on the employees usually invite social resistance such as gossiping and rumor mongering. If the maltreatment or bullying of the manager becomes harsh, employees may manifest their active resistance by answering back to the manager’s rants or other forms of defiance. They can write petition letters or complaints to a higher authority or openly disobeying the manager’s command. Active resistance is easy for the manager to identify and control since it is usually done openly. What is difficult is passive or covert resistance. This often done at his/her back. This needs some sociological sense to discover that the employees resist

Passive Resistance

Passive resistance is an indirect or covert form of resistance. If employees do not want the personality and management style of the manager, they don’t usually show it openly to avoid sanctions. Instead, they would usually do it indirectly such as spreading rumors and gossip against the manager. They can also intentional miss their targets, underperform their tasks and invent all sorts of excuses for their sloppy job. In this case, the manager cannot achieve his/her assigned goals and targets in the firm, making him/her an ineffective leader in the eyes of the top management or owners of the company. These resistant acts may appear insignificant to many people but they can create a ripple effect which can result in an organized opposition against the manager. A good manager therefore is a person who is prudent in the exercise of his/her power and authority, avoiding active and passive resistance, for the good of the company. A good manager is must also be open to dialogue with disgruntled employees to understand and address the root cause of their problems..

3. Familiar with the latest technology for business.

With growing digitalisation of business, a good manager must be familiar with the latest Internet and computer skills and applications for business, particularly with the use of the social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other growing networking sites for business. With the advent of the digital, cyber and electronic spaces, physical presence is no longer necessary with the latest Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Multitasking would be made easy because of the digital technology. A manager maybe away from his office, attending a conference and yet s/he can still attend to the day-to-day activities of his/her office with the use of his/her smart phones and wireless broadband or other high-tech devices and applications. The ICTs are also indispensable for a good manager in marketing formally or informally the company’s products and services.

4. Sensitive to his/her employees’ needs.

Finally, one of the most important traits a good manager must possess is sensitivity to his/her employees’ needs. The role of the manager is not only to achieve the company’s business goals and forecasts but also to protect and nurture the company’s most important asset—the employees. If employees feel happy, contented, and supported by the manager in what they do, their productivity and loyalty to the company would intensify and the company’s goals would then be easier to achieve. If this happens, the top management, will take notice of the manager’s capacity and and would be persuaded to promote him to higher post and responsibility.The employees’ feeling of being respected and valued by their company through their manager would surely result in increased productivity, efficiency and profit for the company. The famous Pope John Paul II in his papal encyclical or letter entitled Centisimus Annus (One Hundred Years), said that employees’ welfare in the company is more important than just earning more profit in a sesne that a business enterprise is a community of persons aimed at serving the public through products and services.

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6 Quotes from Top Business Leaders and their Sociological Meaning

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Top business leaders may not be social scientists and sociologists but their long journey to success and experience in building their empires have given them some sociological wisdom and theories in their minds on what works or fails in the field of business. They may not have articulated exactly the type of theories and insights they use in the quotes, but they are nevertheless very sociological and empirical from a sociologist’s point of view. Let us examine and analyze sociologically the following quotes from well-known global business leaders:

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This quote emphasizes that media business needs visionary leaders. In sociology, the type of leader with vision is usually the charismatic leader. The German sociologist Max Weber basically classifies leaders into 3 types: Charismatic, Traditional, and Rational-Legal. The charismatic leader is one with extraordinary talents and personal traits. His talent includes a vision of the future.

It is proven that today’s great business leaders are people who think and see ahead of their times. They have the talent to spot opportunities which ordinary entrepreneurs cannot see. Charismatic leaders are creative and innovative people who are willing to break traditions just to actualize their visions. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Ma, to name a few, are examples of charismatic business leaders. In contrast, the traditional leader is usually a conservative person who only follows the tradition and culture of what is handed down from the past to the firm, while the rational-legal leader is one leads only to the laws and policies of the company.

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This quote emphasizes that the customer is the ultimate boss in business. Without customers, the business cannot survive and grow. The resources and capital of the business firm must be used wisely to serve the customers. Managers have no business in the company if they cannot provide the best products and services to the customers.

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This quote stresses that one must take risks in business but only if it is a good cause, if it can lead to a good life, presumably for the customers and the public. A business firm and its leaders cannot takes risks if what they do are contrary to law, custom, and needs of the public. It cannot engage in shady deals and corruption just to increase its profit. Some companies, for instance, pollute rivers by dumping their wastes at the expense of the inhabitants and environment.

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Bill Gates may not be a sociologist, but he knows that life is not equal. It is part of urban society’s social stratification where people are classified according to wealth or social class and according to their skills and level of education or social status. In a capitalist society, the social structure always favors and rich and entrepreneurs, while the poor and workers are oftentimes exploited and forgotten.

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This is a very good observation by Jack Ma. Not many people can see that complaints are actually gaps in the system and opportunities for the business firm to grow and even create new products and services to address them.

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Jack Ma, because of his vision and long experience in business, is correct. The right people for the job or task in the company are not necessarily the best ones. The best people are actually difficult to train in the company. They usually have a strong sense of entitlement. They tend to be good at commanding rather than obeying people who know the needs and problems of the company. That is why, aside from the necessary qualification, the employees must possess the right attitudes, values, and personalities which are consonant with the company’s mission-vision. A business firm is a system with interdependent parts and functions. It requires a teamwork. If the firm hires the best people rather than the right employees, it can result in disharmony and systemic dyfunction which are not good for business.

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Top Leadership Strategies of Hugely Profitable Companies

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1. Treat People Well

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There is no other sure way to succeed in business than treating people who are connected to the company. They can be employees, customers, managers, suppliers, and all other internal and external customers. The purpose of business is actually forming a community of persons with individual and family needs. John Zimmer, founder and president of Lyft said:

“Treating people well is great for business; it is complementary to doing well in business. What I do know is that most businesses require other people to help you get where you need to go. Whether that’s our employees, which we call team members, whether that’s in our case the drivers or customers, passengers who are using the service, great service, great hospitality, treating people well, having a good set of values. That is great for business” (Mazarais & Shotell, 2017).

2. Eliminate all needless busywork.

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A highly successful leader in a hugely profitable business is usually well-organized and knows his or her priorities and hierarchy of values in the company. At some point they all wonder, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?”

But the answer is stunningly simple: We’re doing too many of the wrong things.

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“Several research studies have shown that people never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up. Instead, they get more done when they follow careful plans that measure and track key priorities and milestones. So if you want to be more successful and less stressed, don’t ask how to make something more efficient until you’ve first asked, “Do I need to do this at all?” (Quora.com).

2. Empower people in your company.

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Doing business is a team effort. It is not a one-man show. The business leader must know this fact. To be successful, he or she must know how to delegate power and empower people to become leaders in their own departments or areas of responsibility. Jason Downes: managing director at Powownow said:

“We should all take some time to consider how our own words impact those around us, whether making someone feel more confident or helping empower your colleagues at work.”

3. Spend time to understand the organizational culture.

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A good business leader in a highly profitable company must know the corporate or organizational culture. When a CEO or manager is appointed to a company, he or she must first take some time to study the corporate culture before he or she starts governing the business firm. The corporate culture refers to the entire way of life of the company that includes people and non-human components of business.

John Brennan, CIA Director under the Obama Administration says:

“The most important thing for anybody who’s going to be taking on that responsibility, is use your first period of time, whether it be six, nine, 12 months, to learn as much as you can about the organization that you’re running. Understand how it interacts within itself, how it inter-operates with the rest of the intelligence community and the US government. You really need to have that in-depth understanding and knowledge in order for you to have the wisdom … (Mazarakis & Shontell, 2017).

3. Be transparent in running your business.

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As more companies open up about their processes and methods, customers are becoming savvier and hungrier for transparency. Fortunately, transparency does not require you to fork over trade secrets but it does mean being honest about how you conduct business. Your customers want to feel they can trust you. Openness and information sharing helps to build that trust (Ibid.).

4. Encourage employees to express their creativity.

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“Profitable and sustainable enterprises thrive on original thinking while copycat businesses shutter their doors as soon as the idea they have stolen loses its relevance. Since the successful conception and development of viable business ideas takes time and requires a flexible corporate structure, try setting aside a dedicated amount of resources to allow your employees to be creative on their own terms” (Ibid).

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“Google does this by giving its engineers 20 percent of their time to work on any project they want. This allows team members to develop products they are passionate about. Many times, that means more care and attention goes into each effort. Gmail is the most famous consequence of Google’s generous 20 percent time policy” (Ibid.).

5. Develop your business in line with technology.

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In today’s business world, technology is king. With the advent of information and communication technologies as well as the Internet, a highly profitable business must use creatively the latest technologies. Physical stores, for instance, are now gradually replaced by online stores because of technology, traditional marketing with digital marketing, walk-in hiring by online recruitment via the social media. “As the world becomes more mobile, if you aren’t making your business mobile, every minute your potential customers are passing you by and using companies that do use the the new way to engage.”

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References

Kittaneh, F. (4 May 2015). “6 Secrets of Business Leaders Who Built Hugely Successful Companies”. Entrepreneur. Retrived from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245268.

Mazarakis, A. & Shontell, A. (25 Nov 2017). “10 CEOs and top executives reveal their best leadership secrets”. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/top-execs-tech-ceos-reveal-secrets-to-being-a-successful-leader-2017-11.

growthbusiness.co.uk (3 Oct 2017).”10 business leaders share their secrets to success”. Retrieved from http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/secrets-to-success-business-leaders-2552460/.

Quora.com (13 March 2015).  “12 best-kept secrets of successful business people”: Answer by Vivik Raj on Quora.com. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/03/13/12-best-kept-secrets-of-successful-business-people/.

 

How to Become a Christian Leader!

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Introduction

Among all models on leadership, there is one significant image that can be used as a template for all Christians who want to understand leadership and become a leader–the servant model. According to this model, a servant must always be a person who serves other people and not the other way around. A leader is, above all, a servant to his/her followers or constituents! The teaching of the Gospels on leadership is still the best model for all those aspiring to become Christian leaders in their chosen field.

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Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matt. 20:26).

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John Maxwell, a well-known Evangelical Christian pastor and popular guru on leadership knows more about the Christian model of leadership, being an expert on the Bible and Christian ministry. Maxwell is a leadership expert, speaker, and author and founder of INJOY, Maximum Impact, The John Maxwell Team, ISS and EQUIP, organizations all focusing on leadership development to help business leaders. Overall, Maxwell basically applies the servant model in the field of business management and aims to form Christian leaders.

John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership

Qualities of a Christian Leader

The Biblical model of leadership transcends all other theorizing on leadership. The Christian model has the following important characteristics as illustrated by some Biblical stories:

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The Story of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-12). A Christian leader protects his/her followers from external threats to their personal and social security. With great faith in God, a Christian leader is ready to die for what is good for his/her constituents. A Christian manager, for instance, knows how to protect his/her employees from retrenchment, unjust accusations, violence, threats, politics, and unfair labor practice in the workplace.

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The Last Supper (Mt. 26:17–30, Mk. 14:12–26, Lk. 22:7–39 and Jn. 13:1–17:26) . A Christian leader joyfully serves his/her followers. S/he does not desire to be served by those who depend on him/her. Christ washing of the feet of the apostles symbolizes a humble leader who does aim for public praise and social prestige of becoming a leader. A Christian leader does his/her job as a shepherd to his/her followers because it is part his/her response to  God’s calling that those want to be the greatest must be a servant to all. Christian leadership is not driven by the desire for success or wealth but to establish God’s Kingdom in the workplace or society. It requires a strong spirituality of work and a drive to follow what Christ said that He came to earth to serve and not to be served.

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The Story of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12). The story of John the Baptist in the Gospels implies that a Christian leader must also be a prophet to society. To be a prophet is to preach the Christian message in the midst of oppression and exploitation of people in the workplace or society. A Christian leader must have a strong social awareness of what is going on in his/her social environment and courageous enough to point out to powerful people and enemies the social injustices they have done to his/her constituents or followers. This personal courage of the leader emanates from his/her strong faith in God.

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For Christians, there is no other model but Christ Himself who died on the cross to save humanity from personal and social sins. Christ does not expect people who want to imitate Him as a leader to live a comfortable life. There will be persecutions and all forms of suffering for Christian leaders who aim to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. But Christ assured them with these words:

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“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3, NKJV).

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How to Be a Good and Effective Manager-Leader

Introduction

A good manager must not only possess superior technical skills but also social managerial skills. After all, the primary role of the manager is to guide and supervise people under his/her care, not machines and robots. The word “good” here implies a value judgment and a set of standards of what constitutes a good or bad trait. And since business has diverse standards of what constitutes a “good” or “bad” manager, it is expected that what is good in one company may be not good in another company. What is common, however, is that all managers, regardless of the type and size of business, deal with people and employees with different personality, attitude, ability, talent, and experience in the company. Like a conductor in an orchestra, a good manager is one who knows how to blend and unify the various social circumstances of his/her employees in the workplace to achieve the company’s short and long-term goals. What makes a manager different from a rank-and-file employee is his/her discretionary power. S/he has the power when and how a company policy or goal can be actualized in the workplace through his/her intervention. Thus, a manager who has 4 of the traits below can be considered “good” and effective in today’s global age.

 

1. Familiar with the company’s organizational Culture.

First of all, a good manager must be familiar with the organizational culture of the company. This trait requires that the manager must be observant, analytical, broad-minded and with longer exposure in the company. S/he should have a firm grasp of “how things work” inside the organization: the goals, rules and sanctions of the company, internal politics and the degree of influence of power cliques inside the firm, as well as the overall social networking process inside and outside the company. The more the manager is familiar with the overall system of the company, the more s/he can be effective to fit his/her own office or area of responsibility in the overall scheme and direction of the business firm.With his/her superior knowledge of the culture or “way of life” of people inside his/her company, s/he can “make things done” despite bureaucratic limitations and obstacles.

In particular, s/he must know whether his/her company is generally personalistic, that is, social interaction and transaction are basically based on social ties rather than on qualification and merit. In sole proprietorship or smaller enterprises, the employees are usually affiliated with owners as relative, friend or co-ethic. Thus, the manager must be careful in dealing with employees who are close to the owners. But in highly complex and rational system of big companies, merit, rather social ties, usually predominats the overall cultural system of the business firm. In this case, the manager can be more efficient and professional in dealing with employees and situations in his/her office or area of responsibility.

 

2. Prudent in his/her exercise of managerial power and authority.

A manager must be prudent in the exercise of his/her power and authority in the company. Authority is a legitimate form of power delegated by the company to the manager in administering the firm as specified in the company’s manual. In theory, the manager must only act within the scope of his/her authority. But in some cases, s/he goes beyond this boundary such as dominating or bullying his/her employees–and thus act using his/her personal power and status rather than his/her authority. S/he must remember the saying: “If there is power, there is resistance”! If the manager wants to avoid nasty rumors and gossip from his/her subordinate, s/he must exercise moderation and prudence with regard to power and authority. This does not mean that s/he should not show anger especially if the situation requires it to achieve targets. What is important is that the employee must feel that the coercion was done by the manager in good faith and for the good of the company and not as a response to a grudge.

Active Resistance

If employees sense that their manager goes beyond his/her authority and thus abuse his/her power, active and passive social resistance would more likely occur. Active resistance is an overt or open form of opposition to the manager’s management style. Unreasonable impositions by the manager on the employees usually invite social resistance such as gossiping and rumor mongering. If the maltreatment or bullying of the manager becomes harsh, employees may manifest their active resistance by answering back to the manager’s rants or other forms of defiance. They can write petition letters or complaints to a higher authority or openly disobeying the manager’s command. Active resistance is easy for the manager to identify and control since it is usually done openly. What is difficult is passive or covert resistance. This often done at his/her back. This needs some sociological sense to discover that the employees resist

Passive Resistance

Passive resistance is an indirect or covert form of resistance. If employees do not want the personality and management style of the manager, they don’t usually show it openly to avoid sanctions. Instead, they would usually do it indirectly such as spreading rumors and gossip against the manager. They can also intentional miss their targets, underperform their tasks and invent all sorts of excuses for their sloppy job. In this case, the manager cannot achieve his/her assigned goals and targets in the firm, making him/her an ineffective leader in the eyes of the top management or owners of the company. These resistant acts may appear insignificant to many people but they can create a ripple effect which can result in an organized opposition against the manager. A good manager therefore is a person who is prudent in the exercise of his/her power and authority, avoiding active and passive resistance, for the good of the company. A good manager is must also be open to dialogue with disgruntled employees to understand and address the root cause of their problems..

 

3. Familiar with the latest technology for business.

With growing digitalisation of business, a good manager must be familiar with the latest Internet and computer skills and applications for business, particularly with the use of the social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other growing networking sites for business. With the advent of the digital, cyber and electronic spaces, physical presence is no longer necessary with the latest Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Multitasking would be made easy because of the digital technology. A manager maybe away from his office, attending a conference and yet s/he can still attend to the day-to-day activities of his/her office with the use of his/her smart phones and wireless broadband or other high-tech devices and applications. The ICTs are also indispensable for a good manager in marketing formally or informally the company’s products and services.

 

4. Sensitive to his/her employees’ needs.

Finally, one of the most important traits a good manager must possess is sensitivity to his/her employees’ needs. The role of the manager is not only to achieve the company’s business goals and forecasts but also to protect and nurture the company’s most important asset—the employees. If employees feel happy, contented, and supported by the manager in what they do, their productivity and loyalty to the company would intensify and the company’s goals would then be easier to achieve. If this happens, the top management, will take notice of the manager’s capacity and and would be persuaded to promote him to higher post and responsibility.The employees’ feeling of being respected and valued by their company through their manager would surely result in increased productivity, efficiency and profit for the company. The famous Pope John Paul II in his papal encyclical or letter entitled Centisimus Annus (One Hundred Years), said that employees’ welfare in the company is more important than just earning more profit in a sesne that a business enterprise is a community of persons aimed at serving the public through products and services.

Thank you for reading this post. Follow this blog via email for more updates.

Top Leadership Strategies of Hugely Profitable Companies

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1. Treat People Well

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There is no other sure way to succeed in business than treating people who are connected to the company. They can be employees, customers, managers, suppliers, and all other internal and external customers. The purpose of business is actually forming a community of persons with individual and family needs. John Zimmer, founder and president of Lyft said:

“Treating people well is great for business; it is complementary to doing well in business. What I do know is that most businesses require other people to help you get where you need to go. Whether that’s our employees, which we call team members, whether that’s in our case the drivers or customers, passengers who are using the service, great service, great hospitality, treating people well, having a good set of values. That is great for business” (Mazarais & Shotell, 2017).

2. Eliminate all needless busywork.

 reactions s reactions network hour managers GIF

A highly successful leader in a hugely profitable business is usually well-organized and knows his or her priorities and hierarchy of values in the company. At some point they all wonder, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?”

But the answer is stunningly simple: We’re doing too many of the wrong things.

frustrated peaky blinders GIF by BBC

“Several research studies have shown that people never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up. Instead, they get more done when they follow careful plans that measure and track key priorities and milestones. So if you want to be more successful and less stressed, don’t ask how to make something more efficient until you’ve first asked, “Do I need to do this at all?” (Quora.com).

2. Empower people in your company.

people GIF

Doing business is a team effort. It is not a one-man show. The business leader must know this fact. To be successful, he or she must know how to delegate power and empower people to become leaders in their own departments or areas of responsibility. Jason Downes: managing director at Powownow said:

“We should all take some time to consider how our own words impact those around us, whether making someone feel more confident or helping empower your colleagues at work.”

3. Spend time to understand the organizational culture.

video high quality GIF

A good business leader in a highly profitable company must know the corporate or organizational culture. When a CEO or manager is appointed to a company, he or she must first take some time to study the corporate culture before he or she starts governing the business firm. The corporate culture refers to the entire way of life of the company that includes people and non-human components of business.

John Brennan, CIA Director under the Obama Administration says:

“The most important thing for anybody who’s going to be taking on that responsibility, is use your first period of time, whether it be six, nine, 12 months, to learn as much as you can about the organization that you’re running. Understand how it interacts within itself, how it inter-operates with the rest of the intelligence community and the US government. You really need to have that in-depth understanding and knowledge in order for you to have the wisdom … (Mazarakis & Shontell, 2017).

3. Be transparent in running your business.

3d add GIF

As more companies open up about their processes and methods, customers are becoming savvier and hungrier for transparency. Fortunately, transparency does not require you to fork over trade secrets but it does mean being honest about how you conduct business. Your customers want to feel they can trust you. Openness and information sharing helps to build that trust (Ibid.).

4. Encourage employees to express their creativity.

2001 emmy awards only network executives can do that GIF

“Profitable and sustainable enterprises thrive on original thinking while copycat businesses shutter their doors as soon as the idea they have stolen loses its relevance. Since the successful conception and development of viable business ideas takes time and requires a flexible corporate structure, try setting aside a dedicated amount of resources to allow your employees to be creative on their own terms” (Ibid).

Jake animation text typography mograph GIF

“Google does this by giving its engineers 20 percent of their time to work on any project they want. This allows team members to develop products they are passionate about. Many times, that means more care and attention goes into each effort. Gmail is the most famous consequence of Google’s generous 20 percent time policy” (Ibid.).

5. Develop your business in line with technology.

commercial GIF

In today’s business world, technology is king. With the advent of information and communication technologies as well as the Internet, a highly profitable business must use creatively the latest technologies. Physical stores, for instance, are now gradually replaced by online stores because of technology, traditional marketing with digital marketing, walk-in hiring by online recruitment via the social media. “As the world becomes more mobile, if you aren’t making your business mobile, every minute your potential customers are passing you by and using companies that do use the the new way to engage.”

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

Kittaneh, F. (4 May 2015). “6 Secrets of Business Leaders Who Built Hugely Successful Companies”. Entrepreneur. Retrived from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245268.

Mazarakis, A. & Shontell, A. (25 Nov 2017). “10 CEOs and top executives reveal their best leadership secrets”. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/top-execs-tech-ceos-reveal-secrets-to-being-a-successful-leader-2017-11.

growthbusiness.co.uk (3 Oct 2017).”10 business leaders share their secrets to success”. Retrieved from http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/secrets-to-success-business-leaders-2552460/.

Quora.com (13 March 2015).  “12 best-kept secrets of successful business people”: Answer by Vivik Raj on Quora.com. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/03/13/12-best-kept-secrets-of-successful-business-people/.

 

Why is Color Red Attractive to Business?

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net
Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net
First of all, the meaning of colors in society is cultural. Color goes beyond appearance, but generates a cultural experience. It reminds one of his/her experience and social upbringing in society. It offers an instantaneous visual way to associate meaning to a particular individual, company or industry. People from various cultures give different meaning and interpretation to colors. And the color red is one of the primary colors which can have different meanings to individuals in society. In urban societies, red is a dominant and attention-grabbing color. Just look around and you will see red in people’s clothes, billboards, cars, buildings, logos, etc. Red is an energetic and vivid influence within the business and romantic world. In general, people associate many positive things to color red. Let us cite some few things in business where red is highly valuable and desirable.
Color Red in Business
Red is generally a “warm” color. “Red” holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day are often associated with warmth, love, and giving. Some entrepreneurs capitalize on the popularity of red to improve their sales and business. Coca Cola is the most popular and biggest-selling soft drink in history, as well as one of the most recognizable brands in the world and the color of its name and logo is red. Created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. John S. Pemberton, Coca-Cola was first offered as a fountain beverage at Jacob’s Pharmacy by mixing Coca-Cola syrup with carbonated water. Coca-Cola was patented in 1887, registered as a trademark in 1893. In 1899, Coca-Cola began franchised bottling operations in the United States and in 1906 bottling operations for Coca-Cola began to expand internationally.
There is a popular theory about color in China. China’s emperor has a theory of the five elements to select a color. The color green stands for wood, red stands for fire, yellow for earth, white for metal and black for water. And the color red symbolizes luck and happiness. Chinese people believe that red can be a sign of joy and fortune. That is why the Chinese New Year and other official or traditional holidays are full of red. Also, any older people or people that have been married usually give red envelope as red is a sign of good luck.The choice of color in business logos can speak a lot about the company’s brand.
Close your eyes and think about the color of the name Coca Cola or Coke is black, would you think that the company will reach its prestige today had it not been red in color? Or if McDonald’s famous golden arches were had been gray? Would the burger chain be the international success it is today? Color is a key part of any brand. “Whether your logo is red and intense, yellow and joyful or black and mysterious, its colors are announcing something to the customer. Take note that red, maroon, yellow, and orange are hot colors. Thus, McDonald’s use yellow-gold for its arches since they are selling hot burgers and meals.
Products that need heat or suggesting something sexy or romantic must use hot colors; thus, red for Valentine’s day products such cards and ribbons. Blue, purple, and green are cool colors. Therefore, cool products such as drinks and refreshers or deodorant and related products must use cool colors to convey the nature of the firm’s goods. As a company creates the perfect logo, it must sure to pay attention to the color messages they’re sending.” Take a look at the following highly popular logos and you will notice that they mostly are in red:
Photo credit: qualityinternetsolutions.com
Reference:
https://www.fatrabbitcreative.com/blog/psychology-of-the-color-red-and-what-it-means-for-your-business2. Entrepreneur, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232401.
Thank you for reading this post. Follow this blog via email for more updates.

Top Leadership Strategies of Hugely Profitable Companies

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1. Treat People Well

season 3 hug GIF

There is no other sure way to succeed in business than treating people who are connected to the company. They can be employees, customers, managers, suppliers, and all other internal and external customers. The purpose of business is actually forming a community of persons with individual and family needs. John Zimmer, founder and president of Lyft said:

“Treating people well is great for business; it is complementary to doing well in business. What I do know is that most businesses require other people to help you get where you need to go. Whether that’s our employees, which we call team members, whether that’s in our case the drivers or customers, passengers who are using the service, great service, great hospitality, treating people well, having a good set of values. That is great for business” (Mazarais & Shotell, 2017).

2. Eliminate all needless busywork.

 reactions s reactions network hour managers GIF

A highly successful leader in a hugely profitable business is usually well-organized and knows his or her priorities and hierarchy of values in the company. At some point they all wonder, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?”

But the answer is stunningly simple: We’re doing too many of the wrong things.

frustrated peaky blinders GIF by BBC

“Several research studies have shown that people never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up. Instead, they get more done when they follow careful plans that measure and track key priorities and milestones. So if you want to be more successful and less stressed, don’t ask how to make something more efficient until you’ve first asked, “Do I need to do this at all?” (Quora.com).

2. Empower people in your company.

people GIF

Doing business is a team effort. It is not a one-man show. The business leader must know this fact. To be successful, he or she must know how to delegate power and empower people to become leaders in their own departments or areas of responsibility. Jason Downes: managing director at Powownow said:

“We should all take some time to consider how our own words impact those around us, whether making someone feel more confident or helping empower your colleagues at work.”

3. Spend time to understand the organizational culture.

video high quality GIF

A good business leader in a highly profitable company must know the corporate or organizational culture. When a CEO or manager is appointed to a company, he or she must first take some time to study the corporate culture before he or she starts governing the business firm. The corporate culture refers to the entire way of life of the company that includes people and non-human components of business.

John Brennan, CIA Director under the Obama Administration says:

“The most important thing for anybody who’s going to be taking on that responsibility, is use your first period of time, whether it be six, nine, 12 months, to learn as much as you can about the organization that you’re running. Understand how it interacts within itself, how it inter-operates with the rest of the intelligence community and the US government. You really need to have that in-depth understanding and knowledge in order for you to have the wisdom … (Mazarakis & Shontell, 2017).

3. Be transparent in running your business.

3d add GIF

As more companies open up about their processes and methods, customers are becoming savvier and hungrier for transparency. Fortunately, transparency does not require you to fork over trade secrets but it does mean being honest about how you conduct business. Your customers want to feel they can trust you. Openness and information sharing helps to build that trust (Ibid.).

4. Encourage employees to express their creativity.

2001 emmy awards only network executives can do that GIF

“Profitable and sustainable enterprises thrive on original thinking while copycat businesses shutter their doors as soon as the idea they have stolen loses its relevance. Since the successful conception and development of viable business ideas takes time and requires a flexible corporate structure, try setting aside a dedicated amount of resources to allow your employees to be creative on their own terms” (Ibid).

Jake animation text typography mograph GIF

“Google does this by giving its engineers 20 percent of their time to work on any project they want. This allows team members to develop products they are passionate about. Many times, that means more care and attention goes into each effort. Gmail is the most famous consequence of Google’s generous 20 percent time policy” (Ibid.).

5. Develop your business in line with technology.

commercial GIF

In today’s business world, technology is king. With the advent of information and communication technologies as well as the Internet, a highly profitable business must use creatively the latest technologies. Physical stores, for instance, are now gradually replaced by online stores because of technology, traditional marketing with digital marketing, walk-in hiring by online recruitment via the social media. “As the world becomes more mobile, if you aren’t making your business mobile, every minute your potential customers are passing you by and using companies that do use the the new way to engage.”

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

Kittaneh, F. (4 May 2015). “6 Secrets of Business Leaders Who Built Hugely Successful Companies”. Entrepreneur. Retrived from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245268.

Mazarakis, A. & Shontell, A. (25 Nov 2017). “10 CEOs and top executives reveal their best leadership secrets”. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/top-execs-tech-ceos-reveal-secrets-to-being-a-successful-leader-2017-11.

growthbusiness.co.uk (3 Oct 2017).”10 business leaders share their secrets to success”. Retrieved from http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/secrets-to-success-business-leaders-2552460/.

Quora.com (13 March 2015).  “12 best-kept secrets of successful business people”: Answer by Vivik Raj on Quora.com. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/03/13/12-best-kept-secrets-of-successful-business-people/.

 

A Good Business Leader Must Know Corporate Culture

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Introduction

Corporate culture is often understood by people as something abstract. One author defines it as “the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature” [1]. I’ve read one LinkedIn article which suggested that since culture is an abstract thing, we should forget about it in dealing with concrete problems of the corporate life, implying that it’s useless to talk about something that is intangible to people’s lives.

Is corporate culture abstract?

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Partly, yes! Corporate culture as the way of life of a particular business firm is something conceptual and abstract. In fact, it has intangible or non-material components such as core values, beliefs as well as corporate laws and norms. But this doesn’t mean that these non-material components of corporate culture do not affect people in a concrete way. Company rules, for instance, may appear abstract.

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But managers or employees can feel their coercive and psychological power once they violate them and feel their sanctions. As one lawyer would say: “It is better to charge than to be charged in court.” The psychological trauma is even greater when one is not just civilly charged but criminally charged for violating company rules! Moreover, cultural beliefs can also affect the corporate life of business. When I was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for a field research, I was told that retail business firms there normally experience more customers in the morning than in the afternoon because of the cultural belief that buying in the morning implies luck and prosperity to the buyer. Thus retail operations are adjusted to focus on the morning rather than on afternoon or evening. Obviously, employees of these retail outlets are affected by this cultural belief.

Corporate Culture as a Lived Experience

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Corporate culture is therefore a lived experience. It affects both the cognitive and material or behavioral aspects of people’s lives. It affects the workers’ social and economic life in the firm. If the firm, for instance, often delays the release of salaries due to bad management, the rank-and-file employees and their families would literally starve. Or if the firm does not provide skills training or career development for its employees and managers, the company’s productivity and brand can be affected.The point here is, culture is not just an abstract reality but, above all, a lived reality that affects all the members of a corporate community.

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As a lived experience, corporate culture is experiential. Its totality could not be described on paper since it is the entire way of life of a particular business organization. It can only be fully understood and felt by people if they are immersed into it, participating in its day-to-day activities for a considerable period of time. Once people become regular members of the company as employees or managers and actively interacting with people, structures, and rules, they would soon discover the firm’s basic cultural patterns.Thus, people could not fully understand and appreciate the generosity of Google’s corporate culture to its employees and managers if they are not part of the internal culture of the company.

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This internal view of the corporate life by insiders is what anthropologists call as the emic perspective (insider’s view). Job seekers who do not have any idea of the inner workings of the internal culture of the hiring company may soon be discouraged or shocked if they discover as new employees that the corporate image of their new employer as projected in the social or mass media is not what they actually live or experience inside the company. Thus, acquiring an internal knowledge of a corporate culture can only be understood if one is part of the corporate community. Non-members can only gain the etic (observer’s perspective) or external knowledge of the firm’s culture. Only insiders such as employees and managers can feel and understand the basic patterns of their corporate culture as they belong to the firm’s corporate structure.

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An outsider or visitor may discover partially some of the firm’s cultural traits from a far but could not discover and live its basic cultural patterns and inner dynamics. But for an insider, a corporate culture can become too familiar with him/her that s/he can label its basic image as “toxic”, “employee-friendly”,”damaged”, etc.These terms do not totally, of course, capture the complex patterns of the company’s culture, but they provide a basic image to describe the basic cultural orientation of the firm. They can become a useful guide for top managers in changing or reforming the corporate life of the firm as well as for recruiters in selecting applicants who fit into the corporate culture of the hiring firm.

Conclusion

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Corporate culture is therefore not purely an abstract thing but a lived reality. It may appear as an abstract reality mentally at the onset. But when one participates in the firm’s daily life, corporate culture becomes a “real” thing that affects the mental and physical life of people inside and even outside the company. It becomes the basic mold that shapes the corporate lives of employees and managers as long as they remain members of the business organization. Corporate culture is therefore like ‘the operating system’ of the business organization that guides people and employees on how to think, act and feel inside the company [2].

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

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