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7 Keys to Culture in the Workplace – Leadership

Friday, October 27, 2017 - Joe Kiedinger

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LEADERSHIP! It’s our next element of a great C.U.L.T.U.R.E.

I took the liberty of capitalizing our next category because it’s the most important element of a great culture. Where have all the great leaders gone? I can tell you that they’re out there; I work with many of them. They simply are not tooting their own horn or taking credit for their achievements.

Today’s great leaders are humble and fair. They instruct without shaming and create safety in the ranks. Great leaders build great cultures. Culture must start at the top. It’s the top leadership that frames the expectations of behaviors which is dictated by purpose and core values. It’s why companies have a purpose statement, vision, mission and core values.

It’s the top leaders who live the company purpose and who demonstrate it to the next layer of management. Middle management is truly responsible for building the culture.

Think of it this way. Top leaders are like the architects who bring vision to what is possible. Middle managers are the construction workers who build the vision into something tangible.

Culture building is a fuzzy thing. It’s all in the little things that are said and done that either support the vision or accidentally push the company away from the vision. For example, a core value may be efficiency, however, there are complicated systems that are slowing down expediting client orders.

Another example, a company may have listening as a core value but it never conducts feedback surveys or town hall meetings. Top leaders and middle managers must work together to allow behaviors to match the core values, purpose, and vision, flowing down throughout the organization.

Leadership is hard. You should expect push back and disrespect at times. As you begin to facilitate healthy change and invite people on your metaphorical boat of change, some will pack a drill and try to sink your efforts. It’s called sabotage. As soon as you take three steps forward, these folks do something and you move two steps back. Sometimes I wonder, who would ever sign up for that job? Then I remember… true LEADERS, that’s who!

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Sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration.

Understanding where others are coming from is critical in communicating and working toward a common cause.