What should your culture be?
Corporate culture, what does this term mean to you? In almost every industry these days the terminology around a strong and "robust" corporate culture abound.
There are many industry examples one can use to identify the elements of a positive and effective corporate culture, consider Google, Disney, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Apple and Nordstrom. Now consider the companies that you feel don't foster a positive corporate culture, I will reserve my own judgments as the purpose of my blog is not to foster any negativity. In the interest of transparency though I certainly have a list of companies where I think "thats probably not a great place to work, or be a customer".
Ask yourself two questions;
Out of fear we... Throw pillows around the issue...
Out of spite we... Blame, shame and hold them accountable...
So, what are these results achieving for you?
What would it look like to let some fresh air into the room? what is the most vulnerable thing you could do within your organization right now? For some organizations, simply showing up is already a death defying feat, for others, it involves that "gulp" moment where you interpret the results of the annual engagement survey.
If you find yourself frustrated by "these people" or find yourself blaming the woes of the organization on a specific group, as any good leader should do, ask yourself these questions;
"If I am being critical, I should look first in the mirror, where am I responsible for this current state?"
"I want to celebrate our success, who and how many people/teams do I need to thank?"
The common opinion these days is "we need to hold them accountable!". The question that should be asked after a leader states this is "what aren't we doing to motivate them?".
I had a great conversation the other day with a very engaged, young and up and coming leader within the organization. We were discussing the leadership skills gap that exists in another organization and he finally turned, looked at me and said "what are you actually talking about?".
I found this very telling. I shared the thought that leaders are not promoted, leaders choose to be vulnerable, present, honest, accountable and authentic. Any person can be promoted to whichever position, they then have the choice to be a leader and the results they see are a direct result of the choices they make, not the limitations of whichever century or year is taking place.
This is the first in a series of leadership reflections, and much is to be reflected upon. In short, people are lead by inspiration and cultural "fuel", not by fear.