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How Do I Create Culture as a New CEO?

How Do I Create Culture as a New CEO?
How Do I Create Culture as a New CEO?

How Do I Create Culture as a New CEO

Becoming a CEO is like taking the helm of a ship, setting sail on an exciting professional adventure. But let's be real; it can also feel like you're about to navigate uncharted waters, carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. The pressure to establish immediate credibility and meet high expectations can be overwhelming.

That's why it's crucial to heed the advice of experienced leaders like David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot, who passionately believes that building a thriving company culture should be at the top of your to-do list. He explains, "Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage within your control, and developing a strong culture is fundamental for long-term success."

Creating and sustaining a robust organizational culture is no walk in the park. It requires time, effort, and a clear vision. But it's worth it. A strong culture will not only motivate your current employees but also attract top talent, retain your all-stars, and impact your bottom line.

9 Ways a New CEO Can Create a Strong Culture 

So, where do you start? Here are some actionable steps to get you on the right track:

1. Begin With Yourself

As the CEO, you set the tone for the entire organization. Engage with senior leaders, listen to their voices, and emphasize humility, vulnerability, and openness. Let your actions speak louder than words.

2. Define Your Organization's Purpose

What's the reason your company exists? A shared understanding of your larger purpose fosters collaboration, innovation, and a sense of connection that propels your company forward.

3. Establish Core Values

These core values should define the behaviors your organization values and serve as the rules of the game for success. Recognize and celebrate behaviors aligned with these values and never tolerate those that don't align.

Why Core Values Matter

4. Hire for Cultural Fit

A positive culture becomes a magnet for top talent. Make sure every new hire has the talent to achieve excellence and add to your culture. Don't settle for anything less.

5. Invest in Growth

When you invest in your employees' development, they feel valued, become more productive, and are more likely to stick around. Establish a coaching framework aligned with your values, and make sure to recognize and celebrate achievements along the way.

6. Empower Through Trust

Set clear expectations, then step back and let your employees own their decisions and actions. Cultivate an environment where they feel safe to take risks, learn from failures, and grow.

7. Give Feedback Generously

Encourage a culture of continuous improvement and growth by providing frequent feedback. Let your people know when they're doing well and offer guidance for improvement.

A Guide to Building Psychological Safety in the Workplace

8. Foster Psychological Safety

Create an atmosphere of open communication, active listening, and constructive feedback. Address toxic behaviors promptly to maintain a healthy and thriving culture.

9. Conduct an Engagement Survey

This is done to understand your current culture and identify areas for improvement. An engagement survey provides valuable insights into the thoughts, perceptions, and satisfaction levels of your employees. It can help you gauge the overall engagement levels within your organization and identify specific areas that may need attention.


Remember, as a new CEO, you have the power to shape the culture that will define your organization's success. Don't underestimate the impact of a strong company culture. It's not an afterthought—it's what sets your company apart and propels it to new heights.

So, hoist the anchor and set sail confidently into the world of leading with purpose and fostering a culture where everyone can thrive.

Watch this video series to ensure your employees are ALL IN all year long!

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About Author

Beth Sunshine
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