The Culture Test
In recent years culture has demanded our energy and attention in ways that are helping transform the landscape of business in America. This intentionally and focus has moved the needle BUT has resulted in keeping the focus of culture on the aesthetics and functional elements of the business. While this has been needed it leads to a big miss for many organizations.
To understand this it is important to realize that culture is nothing more than the collective beliefs and behaviors of a team. Not the statements we make about our culture. Most of our culture statements therefore end up being aspirational more than transformational. This is solely because of the challenge of managing something that is so organic and distributed by it’s very nature.
The second key aspect of this is to realize that NO healthy culture can sustain itself under an unhealthy leader. That’s a fact and I challenge anyone to demonstrate an exception. And, it is on this second point that our greatest opportunity to impact culture rests.
Get the aesthetics and structural elements that support culture right as you can. But, while you are doing that you must focus just as much effort on YOUR becoming a healthy leader. A leader who acts out of confidence, self-assurance, others centeredness, and a sincere desire to add more value than you extract. I believe it is on this challenge that your cultural success ultimately lies.
This becomes a test for us. If we constantly look to explain the frustrating part of our culture through the critical evaluation of our teams and our circumstances we will remain blissfully unaware of the deep need for self evaluation and growth that comes through reshaping not just our leadership style but our fundamental approach to life, work, and relationships.