The Hard Truth About Your Team’s Culture
In the book, All In, authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton focus on how managers create great places to work. The subtitle of the book is, “How the best managers create a culture of belief and drive big results.” If you’re a manager or director — I recommend it.
But the hard truth is that great cultures DON’T ONLY come from great managers:
Great Team Members Create the BEST Cultures.
Early in my career, I waited around for an excellent manager to help make our team better. I had bad or even mediocre managers and complained that they weren’t creating a healthy working environment instead of doing something to improve it myself.
That’s right — YOU have the power (and the responsibility!) to make your work environment the best you can make it.
It’s the classic mix-up between management and leadership. We expect our managers to be good leaders too — and when they don’t lead well, the tendency is to sit back and complain.
But we can (and should!) be leaders — and we don’t have to have an official role or title to lead.
You can be a leader — even if you don’t think you’re a good one — by modeling what you want to see in your team. If you want a better culture of sharing information and knowledge, share what you know with those around you. If you want an environment of shared responsibility instead of always playing the blame game, be a model for everyone else. If you want a culture of openness and welcoming to all — model it! And when you see people aren’t doing those behaviors, tactfully point out better ways to handle it.
You have a responsibility to your co-workers to model behavior that leads to more openness, sharing, and ultimately a more effective team. There’s no more room for shaming other’s mistakes, for excluding others that “aren’t in our club,” and for negativity. If you see something wrong, work to make it right — don’t add fuel to the fire by complaining and not doing anything to help.
There are plenty of people (I know you’ve met them) that feed off of negativity. Don’t feed those monsters — hitting them with positivity and a positive outlook is how you turn that around. It won’t happen overnight, but it certainly can happen if you persist.
You Don’t Need a Formal Title to Lead.
I’ve seen some of the most junior staff members lead teams in ways that improve the group significantly. I’ve also seen very senior members drag the whole group down with dangerous negativity.
Don’t wait around for your manager, director, or other appointed managerial representative to make your culture the way you want it. Seek it out, model it, praise those that are making it better and call out destructive behaviors, and you’ll create the environment where you love to work.
If you’re looking for a big boost of your own leadership skills or improving your team’s dynamics, I can help!
I fast-track your improvement through one-on-one coaching, team workshops, and online training. What will be best for your situation? Let’s find out!
Email me and let me know your biggest challenge.