Imagine for a moment that you and a group of people are each handed a sheet of paper with dots on it. The person handing you that paper asks you to connect those dots, and that is it. No other instructions are given. You are all left staring at a sheet of paper with a bunch of dots on it.
What do you do?
You try to improvise and come up with a picture of something and connect the dots the best you can. Everyone else does the same thing and comes up with their own solution to connecting the dots.
Now, imagine the same setting, but this time the person handing the sheet of paper with dots on it, clearly communicates that the dots are to look like a dog. some people even have the dots numbered.
Though this example appears overly simplistic, and even childish, it is dead on in regards to how so many organizations operate without a PURPOSE.
Ask your leaders in your organization what the PURPOSE of the organization is. Far too many organizations, when asked that very question, end up with as many different answers as people at the table. When you have that, you have the first scenario listed above. Your people have no clear picture of what to do, especially when they are facing a problem without guidance or a process.
Now, an organization that has a clear PURPOSE that is clearly communicated has people who can operate without guidance and even without processes, at times, because they know what their purpose is, and what the objective is.
In the Marines, we called this "Commander's Intent." We always knew what the overall objective was, so when communications were down, or if leaders were killed or wounded, the Marines had the capacity to continue fighting, and most importantly, in accordance to accomplishing the high objective or PURPOSE.
Organizations with a clear PURPOSE are more profitable and experience more sustainable growth than those who don't.
What could your organization accomplish if everyone knew what its PURPOSE was? What kind of confidence and initiative do you think people would operate with, when knowing that no matter how uncertain any given situation may be, they can always direct their efforts towards a common organizational objective? How difficult would it be to collaborate with your leaders to establish a common PURPOSE?
Knowing WHY you do something is more important than WHAT you do!
That is a major element to establishing a "Leadership Culture!"
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