Many organizations have a set of core values along with vision and mission statements. And many leaders are frustrated that people in their organizations aren’t getting the message. Teamwork, customer service, quality, trust, communication, or whatever’s declared as culture ideals aren’t lived.
But people are getting the culture message from their leaders. They see it loud and clear. Culture ripples out from the leadership team.
As parents raising our young family, Heather and I were inspired by Dorothy Law Nolte’s poem, Children Learn What They Live. Here’s a leadership version I rewrote for leaders trying to shift their culture:
If a team member lives with fear,
He learns to avoid risk-taking.
If a team member lives with criticism,
She learns to focus on what’s wrong.
If a team member lives with micromanagement,
She learns to not trust her own judgement.
If a team member lives with ridicule,
He learns to avoid trying new things.
If a team member lives with mistrust,
He learns to be suspicious.
If a team member lives with hostility,
She learns how to be defensive.
If a team member lives with indifference,
He learns not to care.
If a team member lives with appreciation,
She learns to make an extra effort.
If a team member lives with openness,
He learns how to be honest.
If a team member lives with experimentation,
She learns how to be innovative.
If a team member lives with great coaching,
He learns how to leverage strengths.
If a team member lives with encouragement,
She learns how to be confident.
If a team member lives with positive visions,
He learns how to be inspired.
If a team member lives with flexibility,
She learns how to master change.
A young boy came home and told his Dad that the other kids kept stealing his pencils at school. The father stomped off to the school to complain. “It’s not a matter of the pencils,” he bellowed to his son’s teacher, “I get plenty of those from work. It’s the principle of the thing that bothers me most.”
What leaders do often shouts so loud people can’t hear what they’re saying.
The post Culture Drift or Shift: Team Members Learn What They Live appeared first on The Clemmer Group.