Over the past six months, we’ve been writing about the foundational elements required to build and maintain a healthy, productive, transformative company culture. In addition to safety, vulnerability, and purpose, we added belonging, creativity, and connection. That brings us to North Star Leadership, the seventh and last principle for building any great company culture. In many ways, it’s the most personal and the most powerful.
North Star Leadership is informed. It’s educated. It’s visionary. And of the seven essential elements for building a great company culture, this last one is all you. That’s not to say you’re the only leader, even if you are the leader at the top of your organization. What it means is that only you can do what it takes to become a person worthy of leading your team, your group, your clients, and your organization. They don’t need a manager. They need a beacon of clarity. An inspired thinker. A champion who can build them up and lead them into battle with clear direction, conviction, and support.
North Star Leadership is what happens when self-aware leaders have crystal clarity about who they are, where they want to take their companies, and how they intend to get there.
Writing the book on company culture.
As the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency and big believers in the power of cultivating a positive company culture, we’ve always been fascinated by the advantages that can be gained when the two are combined. So much so that a few years ago, we wrote a book on the subject. “The Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Create Distinction By Thinking Culture First” is the account of our journey at LOOMIS. Part leaning into the challenger brand mindset. Part building and maintaining a revered company culture. And all about the vast advantages that can be gained when challenger brands of every kind leverage company culture to gain advantage over their competitors. It’s a blueprint for building the kind of company culture that draws extraordinary talent and clients to match.
Being the catalyst for that kind of company culture is a huge part of what it means to be a North Star Leader. We’ve all worked in companies with figurehead leaders. The man or woman whose main criteria for being the leader was that their name was on the door. We knew they were in charge, not because of their day-to-day leadership, or mentorship, but because they sat in the corner office on the highest floor.