Creating an Environment Where Values Thrive

As we know, the world of business can change rapidly. And as we’re being drawn into the demands of the everyday, it can be easy to lose sight of the organization’s values.

But it’s when we become overwhelmed and stressed and challenged that we need to lean into those chosen values the most.

Otherwise, we risk running an organization that is based on empty promises.

We need to continue to prioritize the values to not only foster a positive workplace culture but also drive long-term success. To truly make values thrive, we must actively create an environment where they are not just words but rather they are integral to every aspect of the business.

So what can leaders do to help create an environment where values thrive?

Review your core values

We need to start at the beginning. We need to start with reviewing the core values because before values can thrive, they need to be well-defined and still relevant. Start by revisiting those core values. Are they still...

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The Importance of Keeping Your Team Connected to Your Business Strategy

Typically an organization's mission and core values are shared with new team members as part of some form of onboarding activity.

Then, they may be repeated at a yearly meeting of sorts. And maybe at that yearly meeting of sorts there's also going to be goal sharing and various ways that progress will be measured.

And for most organizations, that's pretty much the extent of the team member's exposure to ongoing strategy, the mission, and the values.

Basically, “Here's how we're going to measure and here's where we're going.” And that's pretty much it. It's sporadic and it's vague.

So what can a leader do to help create more opportunities for team members to connect with that broader picture?

Make sure the elements are clear

The very first thing to verify is whether the elements are clear. Do individual team members understand what is the organization's vision, its mission, and its goals?

It's one thing to share these with the team. It’s another to know that they...

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An open communication culture starts with the leader

Talking about the leadership mindset and communication culture of a particular team, Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford Motor Company, said “Like a lot of companies, you only brought an issue to your supervisor if you had a solution. So now, you’re just managing a secret. You don’t know what’s going on.”

This approach is not unique to that particular organization. I remember being given that same advice as an employee. Being told just that: don’t go to your supervisor with a problem if you don’t have a solution. And later, in a position of leadership, I was reprimanded by a colleague for having brought up an issue during a leadership meeting. I was told: “We don’t tell him these things. It makes us look back.”


That blew my mind. It made absolutely no sense to me.

“Isn’t that why we have these meetings?”

Of course, now, years later, with much more experience, now as an executive, I can say with...

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Being a Successful People-Centric Leader Requires Perspective

As leaders who are actively seeking to have a positive impact, leaders who genuinely want to understand and support their team members as unique individuals, we must expand our universe. We must engage with the world in ways that will help us view it through different lenses.

What can we do to help us gain more of that perspective?

Exchange Ideas With Someone Outside of Your Field of Expertise

Think about it. When was the last time you did that? When was the last time that you exchanged ideas with someone outside of your field of expertise?

It doesn't happen that often.

Reality is, individuals in the same field tend to read the same books, speak to the same people, attend the same conferences. And so, we find ourselves living in this microcosm. Which means we need to step out of that to gain more perspective.

To keep growing as leaders, it's important to also engage in business conversations with those outside our field of expertise, to learn more about how they operate their...

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Teaching the Team to Fail

A while ago, I read a quote by American psychologist B.F. Skinner that really spoke to me. Both as an individual and as a leader. It said: “A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”

As leaders, we will face failure at some point. It’s not a question of “if”. It’s truly a question of “when”. And when that time does arrive, what lessons will you be teaching your team by your behavior?

The Need to Learn Lessons from Our Failures

The first thing that we need to consider is recognizing the actual need to learn lessons from our failures.

How are you role modeling that?

To start to learn from our failures, we have to own them. We have to accept our part in that failure.

There are some leaders who immediately look for someone else to blame. Although there may be times when those leaders truly had no part at all in this failure, we need to be careful of...

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