I work for a company big on acronyms. Hence, I chose to create one to help me remember the values we are trying to establish.
The keywords are Health, Uniqueness, ReThink, Together, Simplicity.
I will share my thoughts on these in the coming weeks but, today, I give my reasons for the mnemonic.
I believe building a values-based culture is painful. Especially when we are trying to change the overall culture of a team, department, or company. Here are some of my reasons.
Battling Old Habits
The company’s population may be so used to the way things are, that they can’t fathom them changing any time soon. And since humans are creatures of habit, it’s just easier to keep doing the same.
It takes diligent, intentional, and purposeful action to get the people acting and thinking differently.
Connecting with the Naysayers
Every change brings its toll of energy vampires. In maximize the speed of acceptance, a leader needs to first connect with the people. This is easier with the early adopters or the undecided but it takes 3 times more energy to find common ground with the naysayers.
A leader needs to break barriers, find common goals, listen to concerns, and find ways to get the pessimists thinking forward. And even then, there may be some that will refuse getting on the bus.
Setting the Example
John Maxwell likes to say “people buy into the leader before buy-in to the vision.” The same happens with values and any leadership concept. “Let me see you do it; then I’ll think about doing it” is the motto of many.
A leader must lead by example. This means, a leader gives up the right to take a break or ask for leniency on leadership matters. A leader must put up or shut up; no excuses.
These activities are hard work. It’s painful. Like a blacksmith working with iron: the high heat, constant hammering, sore muscles, and a master piece as a result.