Have you ever walked into a business environment and felt assured that something great was going on there? The room almost whispers you're in the big leagues now. The atmosphere creates a sense of awe and inspiration for newcomers.
You know when you walk in to a place like this, that you have arrived! Vitality! There is a spirit of cooperation balanced by friendly competition. This is a place where people want to come to work. It encourages achievement!
The corporate culture determines leadership styles and visa versa. The environment speaks to you, it says we are winners and if you want to be on the team you better be prepared to step up to the plate. We're not old, we're not tired, we haven't become complacent! There will be expectations and we will make it very clear what they are. It is going to be competitive here, it won't always be easy but it will be fun! Expect to be stretched, prepare to be uncomfortable, count on us to hold you accountable to the expectations we have outlined and plan on achieving and exceeding your goals.
If you've never experienced this I feel for you and if you have, you know exactly what I am referring to.
How do you create this sort of environment for your team? It takes time and it requires a strategy with a timeline that benchmarks the steps along the way. It starts with you! You can never expect to have this if you don't take the lead and reshape your thinking and actions to move in the right direction. You are the leader and as the leader you are the foundation on which everything and everyone leans. You must believe to the core of your being that it is possible for this kind of atmosphere to exist within you and around you. The more that your belief grows, the more you will take the necessary steps and make the appropriate changes towards positive progress.
As you change, the environment will also change. Those team members that like what is beginning to transpire will enthusiastically jump on board. Find out who they are and encourage and support them as they make the transition to an improved future. Those who are uneasy, nervous or resistant will begin to self select and decide they no longer fit into an atmosphere that demands more of them than they are either willing or believe capable of delivering. Your organization will also begin to attract a high caliber of individual to the team as the new culture that you are creating becomes more appealing to higher achievers.
The revitalized culture will generate a demand for people to begin taking on a new roles and levels of responsibility. More structure, improved systems, better measurement and management tools will be a must! Tightening up your management methods and modeling the expected behavior won't be an option.
Beyond the people side of the business, it is time to renovate! The wallpaper needs to catch up with the times and the décor needs to stimulate the mind and challenge the spirit. Clear out the cobwebs, clean up the dust and do your spring cleaning. People need to see improvement! It may be time to invest in an office facelift to breathe new life into the air and let people know that you are serious and committed to change. Assess outdated equipment and technology, get caught up with the times and begin using tools that will improve the efficiency of your operation.
Raise the expectations of everyone, beginning with yourself and then engage in action that is in accordance with those expectations. Lead with your example and push yourself a little harder than everyone else. Ask more of those that you identify as emerging leaders within the organization as they contribute to the cause. Encourage, motivate and inspire your people and at every opportunity do whatever you can to show them what needs to be done and if necessary how to make it happen!
"A limit on what you will do, puts a limit on what you can do."