One commonality I have found is in the priorities that their leaders set for the organization. What is more important than individual leadership styles is leadership priorities, those things they must foster to be successful, and the recognition that the best way that to achieve those priorities is through developing a strong organizational culture.
1 Communicating a common vision and mission for the organization. Ensuring that there is a universally accepted aspirational vision and mission for the organization and communicating it consistently and frequently.
“Having a clear mission and making sure you know that mission and making sure that mission comes through the company is probably the most important thing you can do.”
– Brian Chesky
2. Establishing a priority for and an advantage in attracting and cultivating a diversity of talent. Creating an advantage in attracting new employees and actively developing existing employees.
“The true measure of a successful leader is their ability to discover the hidden talent in those they lead and challenge them to achieve greatness. If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you are right.” Henry Ford
3. Fostering a deep-seated sense of curiosity and a method for sharing and cultivating new ideas and innovation. Building an intense interest in solving problems and exploring new solutions and the means to facilitate sharing them throughout the organization.
“When a good idea comes, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving…get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.” Steve Jobs
4. Encouraging independent decision making and pushing decisions to the lowest level possible. Ensuring that decisions are made at the right level and that employees feel a sense of empowerment in making them.
“I pride myself on making as few decisions as possible in a quarter. Sometimes I can go a whole quarter without making any decisions.” Reed Hastings
5. Creating a high-performance orientation and competence in taking on large challenges. Establishing above average team and individual performance and developing structure and incentives to enable it.
“It is easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. Since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition.” Larry Page
6. Establishing a truth heuristic. Basing decision making on data and debate, enabling frank and constructive feedback, tolerating failure and requiring the study of failure points.
“One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.” Jeff Bezos
These are pretty much universally found in each company. Do you have others? Reach out if you have any addtions you would make to this list.