Company Culture: It Starts with You
Updated: Feb 24, 2022
Your company culture is more important than you think!
The difference between a successful company and an exceptional company - the kind that builds a lasting legacy - is company culture.
Peter Drucker once said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” (personally, I prefer eggs and bacon). In other words, business strategy is important, but it’s nothing compared to company culture.
The first thing you should know about your company culture is that it starts with YOU. Who you are, and what you do, defines and drives your company culture more than anything else.
Your secret sauce - Moral Authority
In John C. Maxwell’s book Leadershift, he lists the 11 “essential changes” that he recommends you make as a leader. One of these changes is the shift from positional authority to moral authority. Moral authority is “the recognition of a person’s leadership influence, based on who they are more than the position they hold.”
Maxwell says that this kind of authority comes from having good values, and making the right decisions for the right reasons. This inspires your people and makes them want to follow you!
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how inspiring are you as a leader?
Are you the first to do the no-fun work?
Are you the first to admit mistakes?
Do you make a point of never asking an employee to do something that you wouldn’t do?
If you are setting an example of hard work, generosity, and humility, then you are setting your company up for success. You are laying a foundation for a healthy company culture by inspiring your team with your good values and good decisions. Maxwell says that the authority this brings is the “highest level of influence” that a business leader can achieve. In today’s tight labor market, that’s the secret sauce for hiring great people!
When your back is turned...
There are very practical benefits to cultivating your moral authority, but here’s just one. You might remember my recent recommendation that you read any and all books by Ben Horowitz (watch the language). He defines company culture as “what your people do when you (the CEO) aren't there.”
Think about that - if your employees are inspired by your example and on board with your mission, then they will follow you, even when you aren’t around! That’s huge!
I want to challenge you to take some time this week to think about what YOU can do to lead by example, and inspire your people. What are you doing well? What do you need to do better? And as always, if you need to grow your team to better reach those inspiring goals - you know where to look!
All the Best,