Does good culture bring good leadership? Or it is good leadership that brings good culture? It is like asking the egg or the hen, which was the first to be created? The truth is that the two can affect each other. Good leadership can bring about a good culture, while a positive culture can also enhance good leadership.

A leader oversees the day-to-day activities of any organisation. They make decisions that can make or break the establishment they are leading. Culture means the way people do things. The purpose of leadership, therefore, is to create a culture. A leader creates a procedure for how their people should do things. 

How culture affects leadership

It is not a debatable fact that each geographical divide has a distinct way of doing things. That is why the culture in Japan is quite distinct from that in America. And the culture in America is different from that in Africa. The culture of any geographical location affects their leadership styles. In Asian cultures, the leaders take a more prominent and dominant position. But in Europe, the leaders try to be as informal as possible. More power and freedom tends to be given to employees in the western world to be more expressive, unlike in Asian and Latin America, where employees must do things according to the orders of their boss. This is also true with corporate culture. Leaders who emerge from an organisation of positive corporate culture will find their jobs easier than leaders in a negative corporate culture. Creating a positive corporate culture can sometimes be a challenge. The leaders of such an organisation may be required to attend some specific training certification programs to gain skills to achieve this. A leader affects his leadership based on the culture he is accustomed to. It is good for leaders to be sure of their culture because it will reflect in their leadership.

It is imperative for a leader to know how he can influence a negative culture. These people are used to the old ways of doing things. Ego may get the better of them and make them uncooperative. The changes you are implementing for the betterment of the organisation may be vehemently opposed. But with patience, respect and adequate communication, the leader will have his way and thus establish a positive culture.

How leadership affects culture


This is born out of vision. The vision a leader has for his organisation will determine the kind of culture he will introduce. Some believe that working hand in hand with their community will help them to achieve their business objectives. Some leaders create a culture of employees’ friendliness and collaboration with the local community. Their employees donate to charities and host social events to support the community. The leaders create this culture by employing workers with the mindset of helping the community and by creating an environment that makes it possible for them to do so. Leaders who have attended an instructional design course tend to have more of an influence over their business culture as they are equipped with the skills to positively impact their community without much resistance.

A leader can create their own positive culture in any organisation by:  

  • Carefully observing people’s behaviours and characters in the organisation they hope to affect with the change. Unless they understand the present culture, there is little they can do to change it.
  • Speaking to the members of the organisation with respect. Being respectful in approach is the best way to achieve quick results when influencing a change.
  • Helping each member under your leadership understand how their role helps to achieve the goal of the organisation.
  • Helping the people within the organisation to become a better version of themselves.