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Warren Buffett, CEOs and the Importance of Culture

May 5, 2015

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Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.Warren Buffett, in speaking at his annual shareholders’ meeting, shared about the importance of culture to a company.

He spoke about how imbedded culture is at his own company, Berkshire Hathaway. He said the value of the culture will be seen in how it does after he’s gone.

Culture starts at the top with the CEO.

It’s not what is said, but what is done. Words are fine, but it’s the actions that really matter.

For years I’ve talked about this same thing and how the culture of an organization has a huge impact on both the top and bottom-line.

The impact of culture for some reason is lost on the vast majority of people. Ask yourself this question, “If you felt valued in the organization, would you do a better job?” Of course you would — for the same reason you would be far more likely to slack off if you felt you weren’t valued.

This is the underlying core of a company’s culture. Yes, there’s more, but let’s just examine this one with regard to leadership.

The leadership of any organization must in their actions demonstrate their care and commitment to those they lead. Skip the mission statement and all the platitudes displayed on walls. It’s actions that count.

When I see leadership of organizations hide, it is of huge concern to me. Why are they hiding?

It comes down to one simple thing — they’re not comfortable in what they do and what they represent.

 

 

If you’re comfortable in what you do and what you represent, wouldn’t you be willing to be out front in your actions? Yes, and when you’re out front, you value those around you.

Recently, I’ve had interactions as a consumer with two companies where the experience ranged from bad to pathetic. The employees, equally pathetic — and what shouldn’t surprise, the CEO and entire senior management of both companies equally bad too.

Culture starts at the top and flows down. When a company is performing at a sub-standard level and isn’t fixing it, then you can point directly to the C-Suite to find the source of the problem.

If you want to improve your top and bottom-line, start with your culture and the value you place on your employees, vendors and everyone else associated with what it is your company does.

Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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