An organization's culture resides in the minds of its members. As a result, the organization's culture must meet the requirements of the organization's mission- if not, the organization will likely fall short. The leader’s job is to ensure that the standards, values, and leadership principles are clear and consistent enough to attract, nurture, and keep the kind of people that can complete the organization's mission.
Elite units and organization have cultures that match their missions. I served in B Company 3/75th Ranger from 1984-1986. The Ranger Regiment has clear standard of performances and expectations, which require extreme commitment to the organization. The Ranger Creed clearly defines the daily expectations of each Ranger. The last paragraph of the creed sums up the mission of each member of the Regiment:
"Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor."
"Rangers lead the way."
This declaration clarifies the expectation of its members, the demands required of its leaders, and the tone necessary in the Regiment's culture. The leadership challenge is to determine the strategy, plans, and objectives of each system, policy, and daily task that will produce a team - a culture - that will deliver the mission.
Have you connected your culture to your mission?