I was recently listening to a leadership podcast, and a question was asked, “Are leaders creating the culture they SAY they want to create?” That hit me like a ton of bricks. It made me wonder how many leaders are just giving lip service to something that can have such a huge impact on employee morale, productivity, team dynamics, and even employee well-being.
Leadership is hard work and with it comes a tremendous responsibility. Those leaders who see their direct reports as simply “job descriptions with legs” are losing out on amazing opportunities to create cultures aligned to get the most from their teams. People do not leave half of themselves at the door when they come to work, nor do they leave half of themselves at work when they leave. The work of a leader impacts the whole person, and if leaders can find a way to see, value, and understand the whole people who make up their teams, we would see an increase in engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction like never before.
Today, if we went out and randomly asked leaders what kind of culture they wanted to create, my assertion is that each would say that he or she wanted engaged, productive, happy employees who do great work and who enjoy coming to work, who go home and say to their partners, friends, or others how much they enjoy their job and how wonderful their manager is to work with. They would be proud of their work and would feel psychologically connected to their organization. But is this really happening consistently with teams and leaders?
Typically, we will have around 15-20 different leaders (if not more) over our careers. And of those 15-20, there will probably be two of them whom you will remember as amazing leaders who created a culture in which your talents were valued and used every single day and who made you feel like a treasured member of the organization.
We believe that number can positively change if leaders open themselves up to the following ideas:
They don’t have to have all the answers;
Each team member brings amazing talents and strengths to the table;
Self-awareness is key to understanding the impact they have on each person on the team;
Feedback is key to self-awareness;
How leaders show up every day affects the well-being of individuals, teams, and organizations, therefore impacting organizational effectiveness, productivity, and profitability.
Leaders, ask yourselves the following questions and answer them honestly:
When have I asked members of my team for their ideas, thoughts, expertise?
Do I truly know the members of my team and the unique talents and strengths they bring with them? If not, how can I learn what those are and how to ensure they can do what they do best every single day?
How do my actions/reactions affect my team?
How do I handle feedback and act on it? How do I give feedback? Praise?
Who am I as a leader? Who do I want to be? What culture am I REALLY creating?
If you didn’t feel great about how you answered any of these, we can help. You don’t have to settle for status quo. I guarantee we have the tools and training that will help you create a winning culture for you, your team, and your entire organization.