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Workplace culture is critical to everyone. As leaders, we have a responsibility to set the foundation. How our employees and stakeholders feel our values, speaks volumes about our style and our leadership ability. Culture is a quick litmus test about how we how who we are. Read this article to gain insights hear What Is Company Culture? 25 Business Leaders Share Their Own Definition.
What do you think about company culture?
Quiet Team Leader. Definitely a high point to be featured by Dan McCarthy on his Great Leadership Bog. This post was inspired by a woman who was on my team for five years. Rose is the quintessential quiet leader, who sets the tone, raises the bar and urges others to be better and do better. She models, caring authentic behavior in every situation. Those were five high growth years!
Every now and then we are asked to do something that scares us. As entrepreneurs, leaders and fearless business mentors, we know we need to do it. That’s how I felt when CEO Magazine asked me to be a guest blogger. And we all know the story — what pushes me, makes me stronger. How exciting another growth opportunity!
Working with CEOs, Founders and Business Owners, I serve as a confident to those who have the weight on their shoulders of being in charge. It’s lonely at the top. Mentors are a valuable resource. I feel your pain. I know your pain. I survived your pain. I can help you do it with joy. Anytime you can get rid of distractions and focus on what motivates you, you will be happier. Your team will be happier. At work, happier equals productive, and successful.
Read my full guest blog, Make Leading a Better Job
Tell me, what gets in the way of your priorities and leading with joy at work?
Who would think Startrek’s Captian Kirk and Whiplash’s Fletcher (J.K. Simmons, current Academy Award Winner) have anything in common? But they do, more than it would seem.
As CEO of the Enterprise and the away team, Kirk always set the pace. He did it through trust, loyalty and instinct.
In Whiplash, Band Leader/Teacher (aka State Farm Guy) set the pace through fear, intimidation and humiliation.
How did both CEOs inspire the best out of their crew?
The answer is simple, know your team. Know how to reach them and build them up. Then take responsibility for your actions and watch them soar or drown based on your tempo.
As leader, you set the tempo. Make sure your team is in sync with you.
25 year-old NYPD Officer Brian Moore was buried today. Shot in the line of duty to defend and keep the community safe; Moore’s instinct about a concealed gun was correct. All of my thoughts and prayers are with the Moore and the NYPD Family.
News reports state there was no time for him to react. As leaders, although in no way comparable, we are consistently thrown into situations with minimal time to react. In contrast to Moore’s story, we are not usually dealing with armed dangerous people. Although our actions can impact hundreds and often thousands of people and millions of dollars, we do not have a gun to our head. The untimely passing of Brian Moore is a reminder that each day is a gift and more reason to put our lives and the decisions we make in perspective.
What do you think? How many times a day do I get asked that question? I will tell you what I think. It’s a good place to start a conversation and get valuable input. Leaders must be aware not to fall down the rabbit hole and get stuck. All too often customers, employees, and CEOs use this conversation as a delay to making a decision. Time consuming and circular, these conversations morph into what/if. What/if this happens, what/if it doesn’t? What the Hay? When someone is in what/if mode, it’s a good indication they are delaying a decision. Instead use the hard data to frame choices and then narrow down the “what do you think?” to actions, competencies and scenarios. What/if you did this? What do you think?
My father died 37 years ago and his voice still booms in my head. “Hold the flashlight.” Barking orders as if he was still serving in the Korean War, “higher, steadier” and then the clincher “are you paying attention?” As it turns out I was.
Countless hours of my youth were spent in the basement, at the workbench and in the garage being yelled at for not holding the flashlight correctly. The consummate engineer (GE, Mattel, Grumman) turned business owner and CEO, he pioneered many gadgets we use today. Coming home late and frustrated, he took it out on whatever was broken. When in a good mood, he would tinker just to make it better, opening things up and putting them back together. If cell phones existed in that era, he would have jail broken, just because he could. Either way I was stuck holding the flashlight.
Failure was not an option. The completed task often a work-around, disparate objects retooled from their original purpose. Solutionizing and thinking out of the box were instrumental to solving the task. There was no Google or YouTube to check and see what to do. He had to figure it out. Me, the designated #2, the sounding board. My ideas shot-down, I learned resiliency and perseverance. I learned to watch all the moving parts and see how one small piece can break the whole mechanism. I learned to pay attention.
Years later I think about the value of watching him frustrated with the minutia. I learned not to do that. I think about all the team meetings where details weigh down some and lift up others. As the Leader, it’s always my job to shine the flashlight on the priorities and hold it steady on the results.
The flashlight plays a major role in our lives today – ever present on our mobile, a touch away.
Use your flashlight. Shine it on your team discussions. Pay attention.