Every culture has a personality. Can you remember some of the ones you’ve been in? What is your current culture like? To understand your company’s culture take a close look at its core values. That is the heart of its personality. If it were a person, would you be friends? At first glance does it uphold the values it claims to hold so dear? In order for your relationship with your company to flourish it must be based on truth, authenticity, reality, and at the very least – common sense.
I don’t know about you but too many times I’ve been in organizations that don’t uphold the very values they themselves created. Believe it or not, I was part of a board room discussion where an executive actually said, “I’m afraid that we are going to come up with these great values and they will just end up being mere words on the wall.” Shocking. Just seems like if your own management team is concerned they can’t live up to the business’ values or doesn’t take some level of responsibility, it’s a sure sign no one else will—because leaders and managers, frankly, shape your culture.
Anyone who manages others should literally be a poster child for your values. If they aren’t they are breaking down your organization’s identity at its roots. When people fit in a culture, it blossoms. Their passion and excitement becomes contagious – spreading like wildfire and igniting your brand from within. Your culture becomes a living entity in itself. Now that’s powerful.
Sounds good doesn’t it? Like a great place to work. So now what? Are you wondering where you sign up? Quite simply start by taking another look at your company’s values from different vantage points to gain some perspective.
- What do they mean to you personally?
- Are they aligned with your beliefs?
- Does your company directly reward and recognize actions that support its values?
- Are the leaders of your organization themselves able to stand up for them—moreover police one another on them comfortably?
Be active in living your values and helping others to do the same. Anyone and everyone can be a part of making your values reality, even your customers. Think about that. The crux really lies in how aligned you are, because the larger the gap, the more you’ll have to change and the more difficult it will be to maintain. Your heart may be in the right place and you may feel gung ho to follow suit, but at the end of the day, or the month, or the year, how do you know if you’ll sustain your efforts? You don’t. Let’s take a moment to stack the deck in your favor.
- Be real. Focus on what you can affect. Don’t waste efforts with the rest.
- Take note. Write down what you mean to accomplish. Review it often.
- Set meaningful goals. Monitor your progress. Course correct if needed.
- Be viral. Empower others around you. Communities inherently have strength.
Actions speak louder than words. Don’t just say it, do it. Your own value as an individual will rise when you are a conscious steward of both your values and your organizations. It is a scientific fact that symbiotic relationships thrive. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Be accountable.