Inspiring your team to adopt a new culture
How do you get your team to behave differently, to adopt the culture, the values and vision that you have? Regardless of how many programs you run, training you introduce or speeches you make, if the people within your organization don’t either understand or are not inspired enough to want to embrace change little will alter.
So what can a leader do about this? I would suggest one important step would be to look at the corporate culture of your company. How valued do your people feel? Do they really understand the vision and feel that they have a part to play? Do they believe that their efforts can and would make a difference or do they consider that all that anyone cares about is the bottom line, increased revenue numbers? Corporations that are successful like Southwest Airlines, Zappos and Google all have value based cultures, they care about core values such as integrity, ethics and most importantly their people, does your company?
What is a value based culture?
A corporation with a value based culture means that they, as an entity, give equal weight to ethics and business success in performance evaluations. They celebrate when members of the team show integrity and core values like honesty and trust. It doesn’t mean that sales success and increased revenue isn’t important, it means establishing a culture that cares. The corporate message to employees says we care about our people’s success, we will help with their development and equip them with the right skills to achieve the personal success they seek, we believe everyone matters and together we can achieve our goals.
How is a vale based culture created?
Changing a corporate culture so that all employees really understand and embrace it won’t happen over night and it must be led from the top.
A value based culture needs to be:
- Part of the entire corporate strategy - It has to a carefully thought out strategy led from the top down, embraced at every level and incorporated into all the processes of how business is achieved. It must run through every communication and corporate practice including performance appraisals, promotion and recruiting practices. It is not just a matter of introducing new compliance or ethics programs it has to be all encompassing evident in everything the company does.
- Demonstrated by example - The best way a leader can demonstrate a caring value based culture is in their behavior; they way they talk to people, how they treats others at every level, whether they are accessible, whether they are prepared to listen, are empathetic and understanding. Such leaders are humble and find meaningful and visible ways to show how living company values in day-to-day behavior can help deliver on the priorities.
- All encompassing within the corporation - To succeed the culture cannot function in isolation, it has to touch the hearts and minds of everyone within the organization. Leaders can achieve this by developing deeper partnerships with all departments; human resources, corporate communications, and environmental and social responsibility departments.
Recent research by the Catalyst Research Center for Advancing Leader Effectiveness, which collected 1,500 responses from workers around the world, as reported in the Harvard Business Review clearly showed that: 'Employees who perceived altruistic behavior from their managers also reported being more innovative, suggesting new product ideas and ways of doing work better…..Moreover, they were more likely to report engaging in team citizenship behavior, going beyond the call of duty, picking up the slack for an absent colleague--all indirect effects of feeling more included in their workgroups.'
A culture that emphasizes the promotion of core values, ethics and leadership produces happier workers, improved customer satisfaction and a sustained competitive advantage in the marketplace. Isn’t that a culture you would like to have?
WHY, HOW, WHAT – how to inspire others to follow you
How often when explaining what you do, do you get little response? Have you ever thought why that might be? Most of us, when asked what we do, explain things in a prescribed order. We explain what we do; how we do it, but rarely articulate why we do what we do. The why is actually of critical importance, it is what will engage and inspire others to buy from you. Think about it, what type of marketing message entices you to want to learn more or even to buy something?
Start with the 'WHY'
Inspiring leaders and organizations are skilled in being able to clearly express their purpose and belief, why they do what they do. They are intent and passionate, such passion is infectious and compelling. By articulating the ‘why’, people are more likely listen to you, and become part of what you do, whether that be buying from you or following your cause. Simon Sinek provides three examples to help understand this.
Martin Luther King; - why was he the leader of the Civil Rights Movement? He wasn't the only victim in a pre-civil rights America, nor was he the only great orator of the day. However he had a belief, which inspired, his was the "I have a dream" not "I have a plan" speech.
Similarly, the Wright brothers, why were they the first to resolve control-powered, manned flight when their competitors were better qualified and better funded? They also had a belief, what they were trying to achieve, it kept them focused and determined to succeed.
Apple, under Steve Job’s inspiring and much missed leadership is an excellent contemporary example of a company who differentiated themselves and captured a huge market following by communicating the why in what they do. Most marketing and sales is expressed by what we do, how we're different and then an expectation, a purchase or a vote.
If Apple followed this, their marketing message would be:
WHAT we do - We make great computers.
HOW we do it- Our products are beautifully designed and simple to use. Want to buy one?Apple actually communicates like this:
WHY: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.
HOW: The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly.
WHAT: We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?
Great Leaders INSPIRE
Apple, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers are leaders. There are leaders and there are those who lead. A leader may hold a position of authority but those that lead, inspire. They are the ones that start with the why, people don't buy what you do; people buy why you do it.
We can all learn how to inspire and be successful by knowing our own why. Defining our why, how, what has helped us at Integratis to be clearer about our purpose and intent and be more effective in our marketing. We have continued to improve and redesign our website and develop our social media presence:
The Integratis ‘why, how, what’
WHY - We believe that people do business with people. We believe in people and that people can be helped to develop their skills, to become more successful and more fulfilled.
HOW – A good example of how we do this is that we provide our clients with a unique partnership planning process. This enables them to learn the right consultative skills
WHAT- We sell effective training. Want to go on a course?
“Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It is easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory…….It is another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down” Lee Iacocca.
As the savior of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca believes that leaders are made in a time of crisis. The crisis of a nation such as Sir Winston Churchill faced in 1939 and the crisis of a corporation such as Iacocca faced in 1978. Leadership is about who we are and how we behave, we can learn to develop our behavior and become more successful leaders. Here are the nine qualities Iacocca believes are needed for effective leadership.
A leader needs to be curious, to step out of his comfort zone and to listen others' different, possibly challenging ideas. Without challenging our thinking and belief’s how do we know we are right?
Leaders need to be willing to try something new, to think outside of the box. Part of a leader’s role is to manage change.Circumstances alter constantly, a leader needs to adapt and creatively deal with those changes.
Effective leaders confront realities, even when it is painful to do so. They communicate the truth, suggest strategies to move forward, inviting others to share their ideas and become involved as part of the solution.
Character means knowing the difference between right and wrong, it is about our moral and ethical strength. It is what is deep inside us, both when things go well and wrong. Ideally our reputation and our character should be mirror images. As Abraham Lincoln said: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
A leader must have courage. The courage to sit down at the table and talk, to defend what is right even when it might be unpopular.
A leader should passionately believe in their goals and be determined to achieve them.
Charisma is the quality that inspires, that makes others trust you, follow you and believe that they have a valid role to play as part of the vision.
A leader needs to be competent and to surround themselves with people who know what they are doing as competent problem solvers.
9. Common Sense
Leaders need to be able to reason and use common sense!
When Iacocca joined Chrysler in 1978 it announced a $160 million quarterly loss, it was appallingly managed, lacking organizational discipline and structure. Harsh measures were needed, measures which Iacocca had the courage to implement. Visiting every Chrysler plant he learned how employees felt and he devised a rescue plan. Never asking others anything he wasn’t prepared to accept himself; hard work, commitment and for himself a salary of one dollar a year. Inspired by their leader’s honesty, common sense, conviction and passion employees accepted losses in wages and benefits to help effect a dramatic recovery. Iacocca bought a company teetering on bankruptcy back to life, retaining employment for thousands and making an enormous contribution to the American economy.
In today’s competitive, depressed economy, Iaccoa’s story is inspirational. Try applying his nine C’s of leadership, always do your best and do let us know what other ideas you might have to be an effective leader.
Integrity and trust are fundamental to effective leadership. A great leader is trusted and admired, a role
model whom others wish to follow and emulate, a person of integrity. Would you follow someone you neither trusted or respected? To trust you people need to believe that you are sincere and honest, that you have their best interests and the best interests of their company at heart. Being an excellent role model consolidates all the other aspects of leadership fortifying the process of creating vision, inspiration and momentum.
1. Your behavior, setting the example
Others form a picture of who you are by observing how you act. Your behavior tells others a story. The standard of behavior, the example you set and how you defend what you believe to be right all demonstrate your integrity. This is especially true during times of change when people will be looking to see if the leader lives up to the specific values and themes they are promoting. If you earn people’s respect and trust they will want to adopt your values, both personal and the company’s, which has a tremendous effect on the organizations culture and success.
2. Self respect
This is reflected by your appearance and actions, your punctuality.
3. Respect of others
How you treat others, with sincerity, empathy and consideration. To build credibility ensure that you are friendly and approachable. Make time for others, let the other person do a great deal of the talking, listen and be sympathetic to peoples’ opinions, ideas, concerns and worries. Make eye contact, know that little things count. Offer feedback and advice and take action to address their concerns.
4. Be honest and sincere
Honesty creates a culture of trust. Be uncompromising about the truth keep your word, be honest yet modest. Defend what is right. Show people that you only expect from them what you are prepared to do yourself. Let your team know what you think is important. If you don't tell people what your beliefs are, they'll guess and hold you accountable for what they guess. Being forthright has the additional benefit of making people feel like they understand you, and it develops trust faster than any other way.
5. Always defend what you believe is right
Make sure everyone knows what the organizations belief system is. Write it down, post it on the notice board. Ensure that all your actions demonstrate your adherence to this believe system and your values. Openly acknowledge and praise others who demonstrate this. Never be too important to apologize when things go wrong, When your strategy blows up in your face, take the responsibility.
6. Be magnanimous
Be magnanimous don’t bare grudges. Invite the opinions of others, ask them what values they think are important, what integrity means to them. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view Share with
them that you have accessed your own strength and weaknesses. Invite them to do the same, making yourself available to each individual to offer your help with this. Be prepared to apologize, if you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically. Let other people feel that new ideas belong to them that their opinion matters.
Only hire integrity. ‘Walk the talk’, be firm be consistent, be honest, be respectful, be fair and kind, be the leader!
Do you agree that integrity is the cornerstone for effective leadership and that these are the traits that exemplify leadership integrity? What are your thoughts, we would love to know?