With apologies to Meaghan Trainor for copying the title of her 2014 hit song and tweaking it to suit our purpose, we begin. In business, it truly is all about that trust! Without trust, you cannot conduct business effectively in a capitalist economy. People have to trust that your check is good, they have to trust that you will deliver the products when they order online, and so on. If you want to build a winning culture in your organization, you’re going to need to start from a position of trust and everything your company does from top to bottom needs to build trust and encourage your associates to pay attention to how you play the game and how you win.
Ensure that your leadership team and everyone in the company understand that trust is the currency that pays for business success. Trust is the key building block in the foundation of your company and your culture. In every conversation and in every meeting, trust will either be built, or it will be diminished. People come first. When everyone in your culture listens and shows that they care about people as a person first, and then as a team role player second, trust begins to build. All members of the team must demonstrate humility and vulnerability and respect it in others, for your environment to support trust. When a workplace environment is established on a strong foundation of trust, results will surely follow as a near certain by-product.
Keep the politics to a minimum within your company. Keep the confusion to a minimum within your company. Ensure that expectations are clear and consistent, and avoid chaos in the workplace, so that your colleagues will know clearly that this is a company that they can believe in and commit to. Then stand back and watch them deliver their best.
Make listening a priority in your culture. Encourage everyone on the team to listen twice as much as they speak. Encourage everyone on the team to listen without judgment so that they can maximize their ability to empathize and understand the meaning of the speaker’s message. Challenge your teammates to engage regularly in discussions with prospects, partners, and colleagues with the idea of asking thoughtful questions that will lead to turning feedback into features. You will increase your value in the marketplace, when your customers are helping you to perfect future products, projects, and processes.
Inculcate everyone in your company with a positive and constructive attitude towards mistakes. There is not a person or a company in this world that will ever approach perfection because of the human element in any circumstance. We all make mistakes. Encourage and challenge your employee associates to understand that the best efforts always involve taking action to move forward quickly, rather than procrastinating until all risk has been removed or until we’re sure of a perfect outcome. There is a very strong early adopter advantage in life and in business, and you want to move quickly and take educated, considered risks, rather than to miss out on opportunities. Given an aggressive, forward-thinking approach, we must acknowledge that mistakes will be made. Embrace the learning that comes from mistakes. Expect mistakes, and quickly pivot from failure to your reaction to learning from the mistake or the failure. There is nothing to be gained from wallowing in failure, and everything to be gained from the clarity and focus that come with a lesson learned. Apologize and own up to your mistakes, and quickly move on to fixing them and filling any gaps in a process to prevent a recurrence.
Demonstrate that at your company, you don’t pretend, and you don’t deceive yourselves, that you deal in reality. The message should be something akin to “We do everything we do around here to inspire pride in our company and our brand. If something is going on that is not going to represent our company well, or is going to compromise our values, it is your responsibility to speak up and let’s dialogue about it, and do something to fix it before it becomes a problem that damages our brand. If you cannot sign your name to something as being our best work, then don’t sign, speak up and challenge anyone on the team to do better. That is how we will achieve our dreams and define our destiny.” This requires a substantial amount of fortitude from you as a leader but will pay off when every member of the team is contributing and keeping an eye on results matching expectations.
Great cultures don’t happen by accident. A winning culture is ALWAYS the result of a visionary leader surrounding him or herself with other visionary leaders and providing clear and ambitious goals to a team that wants to deliver against them because they’re inspired to work toward the cause. With time, as your team watches you relentlessly stick to your guns and stick to your values in your day to day conduct of business, they will internalize your values and vision as their own. Once this begins to happen, success becomes predictable and sustainable and you are on your way to creating a legacy and a dynasty.
Michael is a culture architect for small and medium sized companies across the United States and a licensed Professional Business Coach. Michael would love to hear from you about your cultural challenges and what you’re doing to build a winning culture for your business organization. With a coordinated effort, you too can build a dynasty and a legacy you can be proud of. Check out the Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting’s YouTube channel for more thought provoking business best practices and sign up for our regular mailings on business best practices at firstname.lastname@example.org.