If you want to understand an organization’s culture, watch the leader and understand their style, values and tolerance for specific behaviors. If a leader is forward thinking, compassionate, results driven, reflective and respectful then chances are the culture reflects these values in the behaviors that are prevalent. Potentially creating more teamwork and solution based discussions. If a leader is more goal oriented, tactical, willing to do what it takes to make things happen, intolerant, and strict then you will likely see a workforce that is more blame oriented and focused on day to day activities without regard to the bigger picture.
Leaders often trivialize the impact of their behaviors on the teams around them. Yet time and time again you can see how teams act and react based on the leader’s example. The leader is the role model. The leader has a significant impact on the multi-generational workforce collaboration, the internal and external views of profit versus people, the passion and growth of up and coming leaders, the available bench strength for new leaders, retention of the right employees among many other organizational areas.
Culture is important to employees and to organizational performance.
- Culture and Engagement together were the #1 trend in Global Importance listed in Deloitte’s 2015 report on Human Capital and the #3 trend listed separately from engagement and with a higher importance rating (86% vs. 78%) in the 2016 report.
- 82% of the respondents in the 2016 report believe culture is a competitive advantage.
Be the leader you want others around you to emulate.
- We have seen an amazing amount of team cultures change with a leader evolving and adjusting their approach and living more true to values that are important to them.
- Many tried and true as well as new books and articles are available on being purposeful and develop a healthy AND smart culture. Patrick Lencioni’s books The Advantage and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable are tried and true. A newer book is Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives by Anese Cavanaugh.
Today is a great time to pause and think about the culture of our organizations and the impact we as leaders are having on that culture. Are your values being lived not by words but through behaviors? Would you be proud of your team if they followed your example through their behaviors? Do you have areas you want to upgrade because you have become lax about living truly and the results are things you wouldn’t want to have publicized?
At Kinetic Insights, our PathFinders are skilled in helping leaders unleash the greatness in themselves and in their organizations. Call or email us for a quick discussion that just might put you and your team on the path to significant change.
Gail A. Froelicher is Founder, CEO and PathFinder of Kinetic Insights, LLC. For over 11 years, Gail and her team of PathFinders have journeyed with their customers to forge successful paths in rapidly changing business environments.