Value, and culture are two words that are continually thrown around in business meetings and via email, often in partnership with a message about change that will take place, or one that has recently taken place. The issue with speaking without an intention of purposeful change is that it results in chasing your tail instead of creating a solution.
Saying the words over and over means little to the people on the receiving end of the change, and yet that is exactly what #leadership consistently does, and then is confused why nothing evolves in terms of performance and behavior. This type of “strategy” provides real insight into current organizational dysfunction where they (leadership) know they need to do something different, but they (leadership) fail to embrace personal vulnerability and lack strength of purpose to enact foundational and meaningful change in alignment with a vision that serves a purpose greater than themselves.
Simply stated: values are worthless without action in support of them.
When you find yourself in these meetings, or included on the email chain, do the following:
1. Take a breath and deeply consider the real message, not your emotional reaction to what you are reading.
2. Respond, instead of react, in a way that both questions with respect, and in alignment with the mission of the organization. Statements like, “What is the overarching theme and goal of this new change, or can you clearly identify how my role can support this change in alignment with our organizational mission, or maybe WHY is this change happening, and how does it address the ROOT cause of the problem?”, help to provide clarity and insight without becoming distracting due to conflict.
3. Assess the answers and find connections between what you hear and what you know. Look for connections where there are seemingly none present. Pay close attention to doing your job differently in response to these insights so as to improve performance, not just for you, but for your team, or the organization as a whole.
4. Take actions, even small ones, consistently, and over time they shift paradigms and attitudes, it is a long view strategy.
5. Do not spend time becoming really good at being average, step up not out, show up not off, speak up and not down.
Leadership matters, and if your “boss” is not doing it, you should, and FYI you should have been doing it anyways, so now take the opportunity to be a leader of yourself and others, and always for the better.