If you ever aspire to build a Leadership Culture, you must begin with a full understanding of your PURPOSE and your VALUES. Without them, you will remain like any other organization; lost, struggling, and stagnant when it comes to sustainable organizational growth and evolution.
DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE:
So many leaders struggle with the concept of defining their organization's purpose, yet, it is the single most important thing you can do, if you want to build and grow a business or organization. Simon Sinek has written and spoken about his concept called "The Golden Circle." He has stated that people don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. He is referring to purpose.
One standard business principle for success is to be unique. No matter your product or service, the easiest way to differentiate yourself from your competition is in your purpose of why you do what you do. The quality in the products and services we buy is an end result of what the purpose is of the organizations we are buying from. If a company's sole purpose is to make money, we see it in their leadership, in their people, in their methods, and in their products.
Lastly, in regards to purpose, your people must know and share in your purpose. If you ask your people what your organization's purpose is, and you do not receive answers that are consistent, you have have a need to better define your purpose. Even worse, if you people answer consistently that your organization's purpose is to make money, you have reason for alarm, and a need to truly define your purpose. Money should be a result of your purpose, not your purpose alone.
DEFINE YOUR VALUES:
Something that helps define our purpose is our values. Our values shape our beliefs and therefore shape why we do what we do. Our values also shape our decisions and our actions in accordance to living our purpose.
The most important thing to point out in regards to values is stated vs. practiced values. I have seen far too many companies who have excellent values printed on posters, on their website, and all over their offices and operating areas, only to practice a different set of values. I stated before that our decisions and actions are shaped by our values. Your people, your clients, and your customers see your values on display everyday. They see them in how you do business. When your stated values are different than the values you practice, you cannot be trusted as a person or organization.
When you and your organization practice the very values you state you do, you have a clear path to a Leadership Culture. You have a culture where the people can take initiative and make decisions and take action in accordance to you strategic mission, vision, and purpose. The companies that have mastered this concept have people who are unafraid of their leaders, and are always in motion and are always growing.
When you have your PURPOSE and your VALUES defined, everything your people do is in alignment and in harmony. It creates a natural focus to common goals and objectives. It establishes a team environment. It is the seed to growing a culture populated by leaders, rather than followers.
ASK YOURSELF AND YOUR PEOPLE:
Why do we exist? What is the purpose of this organization? Are the values we practice reflective of the values we have stated? If the answers are not consistent, or you don't like the answers you hear, changes are needed. True leadership requires change. Are you willing to make the changes needed?
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