Archive for October, 2013

Organizational Culture and Your Leadership:


Organizational Culture According to Business Dictionary:

“The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.

Organizational culture includes an organization’s expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid. Also called corporate culture, it’s shown in
(1) the ways the organization conducts its business, treats its employees, customers, and the wider community,
(2) the extent to which freedom is allowed in decision making, developing new ideas, and personal expression,
(3) how power and information flow through its hierarchy, and
(4) how committed employees are towards collective objectives.

It affects the organization’s productivity and performance, and provides guidelines on customer care and service, product quality and safety, attendance and punctuality, and concern for the environment. It also extends to production-methods, marketing and advertising practices, and to new product creation. Organizational culture is unique for every organization and one of the hardest things to change.”

As a leader you can’t delegate the culture building decisions. Leaders need to be great delegators, but not when it comes to organizational culture. Leaders own, create and shape culture.

Why having a solid culture in the organization is so important?

A) Culture is the glue that holds everyone together; it helps the retention. People don’t leave the company they leave the leader.
B) Culture is like the oxygen we breathe, we don’t know the real value of it unless we are lacking it.
C) Culture is as important as the vision for the organization, maybe even more important. “Culture can have the vision for lunch”…. We can’t achieve a big vision without a solid culture.
D) Culture creates collaboration, creativity (a dynamic, entrepreneurial, creative environment) , and competition.
E) Culture can create trust and communication within a company, it builds stronger teams and accountability.

In order to build a solid culture the leader should communicate his values, strategy, goals, and expectations frequently. Leader can’t just focus on the good; he should be upfront about the bad, too (transparency).

Remember changing an entrenched culture is the toughest task you will face. To do so I like to share few points that have worked for me:

1. Build Relationship: You must win the HEARTS and minds of the people you work with, and that takes both cunning and persuasion.

2. Communicate: People must have some understanding of WHY the change in strategy or in culture is needed. “People hear what they want to hear. Is your vision written down not only on paper but also on their hearts?”

3. Motivation: Ultimately, team members have to WANT to make the change.

4. Consistency: This is KEY to a successful change.
Sometimes you will get shot down before you stand up, that’s completely understandable. Remember, this is a process and not an event.

5. Create a Growth Environment: “Growth thrives in conducive surroundings”.
Communication changes the culture but GROWTH creates the healthy culture that you always wanted.

Live with passion!


Leaders Never Quit!

Leaders Never Quit…

Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Quit
Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further.
Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.

Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
• 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
• 1818 His mother died.
• 1831 Failed in business.
• 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
• l832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
• 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
• 1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
• 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
• 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
• 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
• 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
• 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
• 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
• 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
• 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
• 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
• 1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
• 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
• 1860 Elected president of the United States.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

Fail Forward with NO EXCUSES in MIND!