“Seppuku” is a traditional, excruciatingly painful and public way to commit suicide in Japan. It has not been displayed since World War II, but was widely observed and expected in Japanese culture up until then. Ingrained in Japanese culture is the concept of shame and the expectation of suicide in the face of that shame. In fact, it was not only men who committed suicide (sometimes through disembowelment), but their wives would commit suicide should their husbands have brought shame to their house.
You may have heard of honor killings in India and Pakistan. This, too, is part of their culture. With Internet and social media, some cultures are changing. Closed cultures are opening up due to their youth using social media. They no longer want to embrace these traditions.
Yet, it speaks to the power of culture. Disembowelment? Kill your sister? If your culture dictates that it is right, you will do it, no problem.
Leadership is so critical because leaders help create and maintain culture. An exceptional leader inspires employees and societies. Leaders help create strong, empathic cultures. Thus, it is critical to choose our leaders carefully.