The business guru Peter Drucker once said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Because the best strategy will take you nowhere if your culture is a mess. Leaders set the culture so you have a huge opportunity to improve it.
But it isn’t just aspirational. You can’t just state your values, or put them up in some fancy art work on the wall. You have to walk the talk too. When you do that, you have a culture of trust and integrity. When you don’t, you are building a culture of uncertainty and dishonesty. Which is more likely to get you the results you want?
Just like you have to embody your values for your team to believe them, you have to show up consistently every day for your team to trust you. You can say you want the best for them and from them until your throat is sore but how can you show up and make it happen?
The recipe is quite simple. Notice I didn’t say easy, as I am sure you do most of it already so you can build on that. The key is to coordinate your efforts. To get the best out of your team you need to provide a lot of challenge while also giving them a ton of support.
When these are out of balance, the culture will shift away from being empowering.
- Too much challenge and not enough support will get you fear.
- Too much support and not enough challenge will get you entitlement.
- Not enough of both builds a culture of apathy.
Be on the lookout for how each team member responds. They may need different levels of each to stay in balance. Sound familiar? Your team probably experiences all 4 types of culture regularly. Don’t worry- it’s normal. You will never be perfect at it. Your job is to make sure they feel empowered most of the time and to help reset the culture back to Liberation when it drifts.