As leaders we focus on production and technology — they link directly to the bottom line. The “soft” components often play second fiddle to “making the numbers.” However, the culture of an organization plays an equally important role in sustainable success. Culture is how you maintain market advantage; your competitors can’t steal it. In EOS®, we say you have to be “healthy and smart.”
The challenge for leaders is to have the courage to enrich, enhance and preserve company culture. It’s hard to manage culture because it’s less tangible. It’s also riskier and more personally threatening than addressing production, quality and other technical components.
- Are you willing to hire for values and train for skills? Or do you entertain candidates who look good on paper but don’t embody your values?
- Are you willing to confront toxic behavior? Or do you tolerate it because a person has an important skill set?
- Are you willing to listen more and be a role model for “open and honest”?
- Do you shut people down, simply by your expression and tone when you choose to?
- Do you hire, fire, recognize and reward according to values, not just skills?
Culture always reflects core values. Pay attention. Stand for what’s important.