What is organizational culture? And how is it created? There are many definitions and countless books and articles written on the topic. When I wrote The Kind Leader, I created the the most simple definition of culture that I could: Culture is simply the way things are expected and allowed to be done around here.” Whether at work, at home or in wider society, the way people are expected and allowed to act is what their culture is. This week’s Kind Leader Focus is on culture, because leaders are the ones who set the expectations for how people behave, and who allow both negative and positive behaviors to occur and continue.
Today, as you start your work week, please take a look around your organization. What do you notice about how your leaders are acting? Are they actively modeling kind behaviors? Are they deliberately speaking and acting kindly so that others have a model to follow? Are they setting clear expectations about how people are allowed - and not allowed - to act and interact?
And, when your leaders see behaviors that don’t fit with their vision of the company’s culture, what do they do? Do they stop the behavior and show the person what to replace it with? Or do they allow the behavior to continue? Because if they do, even if your organization’s values state one thing on paper, your company’s culture is how people are expected and allowed to act: and that is up to leadership.
To eliminate fear and create a kind culture of trust, leaders need to model kind ways to act and then expect people to act in that way! That is what Kind Leadership is about and how safe, healthy, kind cultures are created!
To learn more, see Chapter 3 of The Kind Leader!