Rewiring & Recharging the Culture
Paula was tired. It was obvious to her that things at the organization were not working as well as they could be. It seemed each time she tried to upgrade procedures to get the organization more efficient and productive, the old status quo work culture deflated her initiatives. She remembers going to a conference and hearing how other organizations changed their culture, but she couldn’t recall any of the steps.
Changing a status quo mindset is difficult because as humans we are wired to resist change. The old “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” or “better safe than sorry” are just two examples of how we humans resist change. We do this even when we know if we don’t keep up, we’re left behind. Overriding the resistance, rewiring, and recharging the work culture is a crucial process for fostering a positive, innovative, and sustainable environment within organizations. It starts with getting to the heart, not just the mind.
An enormously powerful leadership style I and many other leaders use and have used is the Servant Leadership model. The fundamental principle of Servant Leadership is that the leader’s primary role is to serve others, the employees, customers, and the community. Jesus, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Truett Cathy and Abraham Lincoln all used the Servant Leadership model of leadership. They put others first, helped others grow, get better and become better people. In turn, these leaders achieved many of their goals.
When I start building a work culture, I do it so my team, my bosses, and customers are all successful. I want to encourage personal and professional growth with each team member. The Servant Leadership approach encourages leaders to prioritize the needs of others and act with selflessness and empathy. In practical application, I want our team to be well trained and experts in the field. I want them to have the confidence to lead, so I develop training courses to help them do that.
Creating a way for employee engagement is vital to my success. It is important to engage employees at all levels of the organization. This in turn gets buy-in and allows people to work for an organization they believe in, not just the organization that provides the paycheck. My role as the leader is to make sure our team knows they are valued, heard, and appreciated, which, in turn, leads to higher levels of commitment and motivation. I would encourage Paula to override her own fear and practice engaging her employees. Can she capture the hearts of her employees first; give them something bigger than themselves to work for. If you only focus on the task at hand, the leader misses a wonderful opportunity to change the culture. Paula can cultivate great culture by rewiring the mindset that resists change and recharging the hearts of her employees.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ James Kouzes and Barry Posner in The Leadership Challenge
Continue to rewire and recharge,