Leaders, what can you expect from your peers? What do they expect from you?
Issue 2 of the three-part series focuses on my expectations of leaders in terms of Company Culture.
On my journey to my personal core values, I have addressed a number of topics. Among others, I asked myself: “What do I expect from colleagues in leadership positions?” and also “What is my role as a leader?” These questions are anything but easy to answer. My expectations in this series of three posts reflect the bare “minimum” that I expect from a reflective leader. Beyond this minimum, only the sky is the limit.
Top senior leadership responsibility – culture building
Culture is so intangible, so abstract. It’s so difficult to actually create it and to steer it purposefully in any direction. It is so indirect, there are so many levers to turn. That is why I have observed that many leaders do not consciously invest time in working on culture. They don’t have a clear goal in mind and don’t know what kind of culture to create.
Nevertheless, Peter Drucker nailed it with his famous statement:
Means? It means that the culture of a company always determines its success, regardless of how effective your strategy is. However, a strategy is easier to define, easier to extract. It is a much easier task than working on culture. Nevertheless, corporate culture is largely determined by the leadership team. Take your responsibility and work on the culture! Don’t leave culture to chance, but try to influence the outcome. One of my expectations on leaders is to work hard to create an excellent company culture!
Foster fast learning – mistake culture
Mistakes are the fastest way to gain experiences – to learn*). Mistakes are okay. In the right culture, mistakes are celebrated and no one is afraid to make them. If mistakes don’t have negative consequences, people will stand by their mistakes. A cornerstone for invention! People want to think about problems and find solutions. Allow this to happen.
I Have Not Failed. I’ve Just Found 10,000 Ways That Won’t Work. *)Thomas edison
Admitting mistakes is often interpreted as a sign of weakness in some societies. That is why mistakes are all too readily covered up, passed on. In my eyes, admitting and standing by mistakes is a sign of strength, of self-confidence. A strong leadership team fosters a culture where mistakes are allowed and encouraged so the whole organization can learn as quickly as possible. Naturally so, one of my expectations on leaders is to create a mistake culture.