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5 Principles for Building a Leadership Culture

 5 Principles for Building a Leadership Culture Learn how to foster leadership throughout your company by having every person develop leadership attributes.


I believe that today, one of the greatest challenges that our society faces overall is a big lack of leadership. Hi, my name is Bernie Heine and I’d like to talk a little bit about five leadership principles that can work together to build a leadership culture within your company.

Anyone Can Be a Leader

The first one I want to talk about is the fact that everybody can be a leader. We talk about leaders as being the heads of the company – it’s the CEO’s job to be the leader – but we can all be leaders – the most junior person, the intern that we hired last week – anyone can exhibit leadership properties.

Being a leader means taking initiative, being positive, looking for the right answers, looking for solutions and not looking for the problems. Everyone has the ability to be a leader, and I think we’ve all experienced people like this in our lives, someone that wasn’t necessarily the CEO who brought up a good idea to get people moving.

leadership in business
Anyone has the ability to possess the characteristics and skills of a leader.

There are some characteristics that we look towards in our leaders and everyone can have these skills.

Selfless Leadership

The first important leadership principle to consider is to serve the team and not yourself. Leaders think about serving the collective good. Ask yourself: “what am I doing to help the rest of the organization?” As opposed to focusing inward “what am I doing right now to make myself better in this situation?”

Related: 5 Behaviors That Define Healthy & Successful Organizations

Establishing Long-Term Goals

Another important aspect is that leaders look to the future and declare victory and then work backwards. So, make a statement like ‘this is what I’m going to accomplish, this is our vision, this is where we’re going’.

business leader
Leaders are able to look towards the future and set up long-term goals for their businesses.

This could be for the company overall if you’re the CEO, but even if you’re a more junior person in the organization you need to wonder what you can accomplish within your department, and make a statement like ‘this is what I want to accomplish’ and then set in the steps to get there.

Related: Stop Failing: How To Set and Realize Your Business Goals

Be a Leader, Not a Victim

The fourth really important principle is to never allow yourself to become a victim. What do victims do? The opposites of leaders, victims wallow in the ‘woe is me’, they blame everybody else around them, and never hold themselves accountable.

business leader
Leaders, unlike victims, hold themselves accountable and try to fix things!

Victims essentially give up their lives to other people around them – it’s the economy, it’s the weather, it’s my boss, it’s the clients – we all have lots of excuses as to why we are not successful. But what leaders do is say ‘well, all those things might be happening but I’m able to choose the path of leadership, I’m able to have a choice, I don’t have to react simply to what’s going on, I can do things about it’.

Related: 7 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in Managing People

So leaders take action and make things happen. There is a great book called the Oz Principle, where the author talks about drawing a line on a page and then asking yourself: “am I above the line?”, meaning “are you the leader?”, or “am I below the line?”, meaning  “are you being a victim?”.

As human beings, we vacillate across this line all the time, and we have to recognize when we are above and when we are below.

If It Ain’t Broke, Break It Yourself

The final leadership culture principle I’d like you to consider for your organizations is: “if it ain’t broke just break it!”

We have to keep moving forward, we can’t live with the status quo. Leaders have to be bold enough to say ‘even though this has worked in the past, we need to break some stuff to move forward.’ In the end, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs. So let’s get out there and break some eggs. Make a change

Take a Totally Fresh Look at Strategy!

About Bernhard Heine

Bernhard Heine is a business and executive coach at Professional Business Coaches, Inc. (PBC, Inc.), a company he founded to help business owners and leaders create and achieve their vision. Bernhard has more than 25 years of experience working collaboratively with business partners in all phases of business management, restructuring and transformation, particularly in: strategic planning, marketing and sales, organizational design, engineering consulting, project management, coaching and facilitation.
Bernhard holds a BS in marine engineering from the US Merchant Marine Academy in NY. He also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a licensed business coach with Professional Business Coaches Alliance (PBCA), and an Authorized Client Builder Sales Trainer.
He was Executive Director for Strategy and Business Development at Textron Inc., strategy leader at Coca-Cola in Germany, and management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. Early in his career, he worked globally as a marine engineer.
Bernhard has also achieved the “Master Coach” designation from the PBCA in Sales, Coaching, Leadership, Marketing, Personal Effectiveness, and Exit Planning.

“I help my clients become more self-aware of why their issues continue to occur and why their prior efforts have not led to success. Through regular sessions, holding them accountable for their actions, they make gradual improvements and over time achieve the success they are looking for.” – Bernhard Heine

Certifications: Professional Business Master Coach, Legal Practice Coach, Extended DISC Trainer, Everything DiSC Trainer, Client Builder Sales Trainer, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Trainer.

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