At PeopleFirm, we define culture as “The way we do things around here.” Defining culture may be easy — but creating the culture you want is not. Effective Leaders are constantly aware of the environment they are creating, promoting and allowing because they know that every move they make and sentence they utter has impact. For example, if you create circumstances in which your people are afraid to tell you the naked truth, then you’ve created a culture where truth-telling to leaders is punished. Think about that the next time someone in your organization voices a thought you don’t want to hear! Remind yourself this is a voice of courage. Is this a voice that you want to cultivate and encourage? If so, this is an opportunity!
Much of the work of successful leaders involves getting deliberate and intentional about their own actions. I often do a team exercise where I ask people to think about the best team they were ever on. The answers always describe situations where openness, ability to give direct feedback, and demonstrated respect for differing opinions were dominant traits; in other words, a culture in which genuine, respectful human interaction was valued and encouraged.
Where these characteristics are common, employee engagement and creativity thrive. Think about what it would be like to have a workforce where honesty, well-meaning feedback, and mutually focused energy and attention were the norm rather than the exception. How do you need to show up to encourage this environment?
Join us for our “Seeds of Insight” videocast, where leaders discuss how they’re creating cultures that unleash potential and deliver business results. We’ve all heard of the “rock star” executives from the previous era — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs are household names for the cultural attributes they’ve instilled in their organizations as well as for the results they’ve delivered. The next generation is coming up, so join us to meet and learn from them!