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Some Leaders Don’t Fit the Culture
Organizational cultures are highly unique, even within the same industry.
The values and everyday practices that make up a culture can vary widely and exert an enormous influence on how leaders in the organization operate. A culture that values consensus and strong relationships, for example, expects leaders to create loyal bonds with their team members and to ask everyone’s opinion on their way toward building consensus regarding major decisions.
Some leaders learn after a short while inside an organization that they don’t fit. Their personal values and style are at odds with what the organization privileges and expects. Attempting to blur what they stand for and how they prefer to express themselves so they fit in usually results in personal dissatisfaction.
Authentic leaders have a very difficult time pretending to be someone they are not. They are left with a nagging feeling that compromising and adapting to the culture is robbing them of their integrity.
Yet, the organization is comprised of quality people and a mission they treasure. Is it really so bad to work feverishly hard to accommodate what the organization expects of them?
Quality leaders can sometimes find themselves in an organization that does not value what they believe in or who they are stylistically. They can do good work but must modify how they prefer to lead and express themselves in order to be accepted and fit in. This is a losing proposition for both the leader and the organization.
A given leader can become wildly successful in one culture and a dismal failure in another. That’s a well-known fact. Not all leaders fit a particular culture and not all organizational cultures are a match for every leader.
Because the organization doesn’t need to accommodate a leader, the pain point is theirs. The decision to move to another organization is never easy, especially when a leader is having a fair bit of success and solid relationships; however, the need for authenticity should be paramount. No one should have to pretend they are someone they prefer not to be. Leaders most of all.