Organizational Culture and Leadership Tips
Safety Tips for Culture…and Summer
In the last 24 hours I’ve had 3 near misses while navigating the summer streets in my car. In these lazy, hazy, crazy days, people are out and about on feet, blades, and 2 wheels – carefree and not necessarily paying attention.
- A mother and her 3 children almost stepped out in traffic from between parked cars.
- A roller-blader shot through an intersection without a glance to his right.
- A cyclist sped across a parking lot entrance overly confident that I would not move first.
Imagine if my car had struck any of these lovely people. I would have been devastated and filled with remorse. I also would have escaped the incident with barely a scratch while the mom and kids, the “blader”, and the cyclist would have been very hurt by my more substantial means of transportation.
This got me thinking about leadership power in an organization – those who have it and those who don’t.
My belief is that every organization today needs to develop a culture of leadership – from the top position in the organization to the most entry-level position and everything in between. Regardless of who has the power, we all need to pay attention.
Why? Because leading yourself through your career and your life is as important as leading others. Building a few simple “safety” practices into the culture can help people collaboratively navigate the workplace feeling empowered.
What traffic habits can you influence and model in your culture?
Know if your path is clear
The first and most important habit is to look ahead and in the rear-view and side mirrors. Knowing who does what, how your roles and responsibilities interact with others’, and how it all fits together is vital. It’s a big picture that you need before you “step out in traffic.” There are lots of intersecting roles needed for the organization to run smoothly. Clarity exists where there is visibility to all of them.
Make eye contact
Next, look at people, give a nod and a smile. Head to the grindstone, on task, is “sweatshop-like” and a thing of the past. You want to be sure you are always aware of those you work with and as excited to meet your colleagues, as they will be to know you. Even a quick handshake introduction can go a long way in recognition. Networking can influence your success. You need a lot of friends and influencers to do your job, to do it well and to achieve your goals.
Wear a helmet
If it were as easy as smiling, work life would be a breeze for most. Having up-to-date skills and knowledge in your chosen field is as important as wearing a bike helmet. It’s your career protection and path to the future. If you don’t know what you need to know, Google is your friend. Take a look at what others in your field write about and know. Bulk up on the right trends and tools. Model and encourage a culture of knowledge in your team and organization.
Choose your moment
Lastly, pick the right time to step off the curb. Your personality and your skills will go a long way but sticking your neck out, or your handshake, at the wrong moment will be remembered awkwardly and could deliver less than optimum results. Make sure the “driver” you want to talk to is open to hearing you before you leap out in traffic. Simple cues such as “does anyone have anything they’d like to add to the discussion?” or “please send me an email with your thoughts and ideas” can tell you not only when but how to introduce yourself and your opinions.
These few simple habits are sure to help you enjoy coming to work every day and might help you improve your organizational culture and leadership methods. (They can also help you in pursuit of your next frozen mochaccino) Enjoy your summer days.