Bad cultures can’t execute very well. Period.
You might even say that they are doomed to failure, rich in dysfunction, seeped in mistrust, and (most often) guided by fear.
Leaders have to face the culture building challenge straight on, and almost always in situations where the “nuts and bolts” side of the business still demands a majority of their time.
How can we make this juggling act work?
I’ve found that there are 12 ways to build a winning culture while still pushing the ball down the field.
- Keep Promises – Nothing poisons a culture more than a lack of integrity at the highest levels.
- Declare Values – Put them on paper, on the bulletin boards, and in every speech or talk you make.
- Less Thinking, More Doing – We’ve all heard the expression “Hurry Up and Wait“; decision paralysis is a culture killer.
- Do First Things First – Attack the #1 things on the priority list, rather than pushing them off to the side.
- Relentless Positive Energy – A leader sets the tone; and must bring positive energy to every interaction.
- Set the “BHAG” – Teammates want to be a part of something bigger then just “profit”, find a “big, hairy, audacious goal” and run for it.
- Use Full-Spectrum Accountability – Set clear expectations, and when they are exceeded, reward, and when they are not met, coach, counsel or release.
- Raise Bars Constantly – There’s never room for complacency when you keep challenging to go higher.
- Eliminate The Negative Words– Start with “can’t”. That one alone will make a huge difference
- Use The Right Pronouns – Get rid of “I” and ‘They”. You’re all on the same bus to success
- Show Up (and Stay out of the Ivory Tower) – They say 90% of success is showing up? Yep, that’s about right.
- Stay Human – Care, empathize, laugh, roll up your sleeves, and love the journey (and your team).
Take a look at this list, and you’ll see that several of them could also show up on a list of “12 ways to execute a successful business plan“.
That’s all part of that juggling act – you’re executing and building a rock-solid culture at the same time.
In other words, you’re a successful leader.
Show the way!
(Photo by Bigstock)