If Leaders are Chefs, What’s Your Organization’s Secret Sauce for the Best Company Culture
by David Casullo
Over the course of your career, you’ve probably worked in a variety of business cultures, ranging from the good to the bad and even the ugly.
First, there’s the good company culture. I hope you’ve had the opportunity at some time in your career to relish going to work every morning because the environment was positive, energized, and cohesive. You haven’t lived until you’ve had at least one of these experiences!
Then there’s the bad. Have you ever worked someplace where the people were nice enough, but the culture was sluggish, bureaucratic, and complacent? You know – a place where things happen at a snail’s pace.
Finally, there’s the ugly—an organizational environment where the norm was “me first” finger pointing or more political than productive. If you’ve ever worked in such a toxic organization, you know all too well how soul-crushing it can be. Sunday nights are pure misery because you loathe the idea of going in Monday morning.
It’s easy to differentiate one business culture from another. What’s more difficult is understanding how to create the best company culture, an energizing culture. As business leaders, we all want this because energized workforces are engaged – people are self-motivated and are looking for ways to drive your business forward, even when you aren’t looking.
So why do some companies seem blessed with engaged employees from top to bottom while others don’t? You guessed it… it’s you.
To lead in this uncertain age, you need to be taking action to make sure the recipe for your secret sauce – the best company culture possible – is giving you a competitive advantage.
Three Keys to Your Secret Sauce
Reading the Atmosphere:
The atmosphere of an organization can’t be observed, but it can be felt. To be effective and drive enormous economic value, your organization’s atmosphere must be captured and clearly defined by you, the leader. You need to crack the code and demystify it for your team… sometimes this means you need to determine the “missing ingredient” that keeps your sauce from being as special as it needs to be. Either way, you need to read your atmosphere and dissect its components in order to improve company culture.
Alignment Intensifies Commitment:
When you are able to crack the code by capturing and defining your atmosphere, you create a channel to spread your energy throughout the organization. There is great economic value when the organizational truths are clear and accurate and they align with the personal truths of the people in and around the organization. Alignment creates deep commitment to the company and to the business strategy; it is a catalyst for self-motivation.
The Law of Energy Attraction:
When you energize your business by creating a high-energy culture, it’s an incredibly attractive force. Every great performer wants to be a part of a winning team, whether in sports or business. High-energy leaders attract high-energy contributors. As legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden wrote: “Good values are like a magnet: they attract good people.”
Like most good recipes, it’s the chef who makes it special. Make 2019 the year you create your version of the recipe for your own secret sauce.