Vision is a key ingredient for creating culture at any organization. Having vision is about seeing things that others don’t see and being able to paint the picture in a way that they can see.
It is imperative for a leader to know where to lead the organization. And in the process of setting that direction, many other pieces come together as a result—because it is often the intangibles that make the difference in setting the tone.
Here are five ways that you can use vision to create culture.
Everyone in the marketplace wants to come up with fresh ideas. But they aren’t necessarily willing to do what’s necessary to come with those new ideas. Forcing someone to sit in their office and come up with new ideas is like saying that the beatings will continue until morale improves. It just won’t work.
Instead it’s important to allow people to see things from a different vantage point. And sitting in your office won’t do that for you. It’s important to be able to see the world in a new way.
Here are three ways you can provide your brain with what it needs to develop fresh ideas.
Leadership starts with understanding your starting point and your ending point. By having a proper perspective, you can chart your course. Otherwise, you will end up like Alice taking directions from the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland.
Too many business leaders set their course like the way Alice asked for guidance from the Cheshire Cat.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
In effect, the Cheshire Cat says that if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will get you there. And too many businesses function in that environment.
If you don’t have a good perspective of where you are and you are going, then you won’t be able to get there. While that sounds obvious, too many businesses don’t have a process for getting to where they want to go.
Here’s a three-step process to determine the perspective needed for seeing clearly enough to chart the course for your business.
True success in the workplace doesn’t look like what most people expect it to look like. They think it means occupying the corner office. Having lots of money. Being a powerful individual. But that’s not true success looks like.
Jesus said that the Son of Man came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). That model of leadership applies not only to the realm of faith, but also to the realm of business.
Here’s what true success looks like in the workplace.
The drive home from celebrating Christmas 23 ago was forever etched into my mind. My wife and I had gone to celebrate the holiday with her side of the family in the Shenandoah Valley. We had a great time of opening presents, eating good food, and laughing a lot. We knew we had a two-hour drive back to Northern Virginia ahead of us, but that was before the snow started falling. When we finally got on the highway, the snow was coming down so hard that we could barely see what was right in front of us. Drivers who were not seeing clearly that night spun around in the middle of the road or got stuck in the median. And not seeing clearly that night made our two hour drive into a much longer, white-knuckled experience that I haven’t forgotten 23 years later.
You will find that not seeing clearly in your life can have dangerous consequences. If you don’t see things clearly or accurately, you will draw incorrect conclusions based on what you think you see.
Here are three unclear situations to watch out for.
Which conversations do you dread? Are they with an employee or colleague who doesn’t seem to do what they should? Are they the ones with your teenager about what they do or don’t do? Are they with your spouse over who’s going to get their way? Your ability to have success in your interpersonal relations will be as a result of having uncomfortable conversations.
No one wants to have to talk about that stuff. And yet that’s how you are able to make the relationship progress to becoming better than it is now. But it requires that you persevere through those uncomfortable conversations.
Here are three levels to which your workplace and personal relationships will improve as a result of having uncomfortable conversations.
Danny Yamashiro aired an interview with me this month on his radio program, The Good Life—the most listened to Christian radio talk show in Hawaii.
Danny asked me about my new book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew. He asked me about who would benefit from the book. He asked me about how it can be a business book and a Christian book at the same time. And he asked me why I wrote the book. It was a great interview, and I had a lot of fun.
Danny has a powerful story. I interviewed him a while back. Listen to his inspiring interview—How Do You Make Sense of Life When Tragedy Strikes?
I hope you enjoy Danny’s interview with me about my book!
||March 2, 2018
||Dear Boss Radio Interview on The Good Life Hawaii
||The Good Life Hawaii Radio Show
After I recently guest lectured to MBA students at a local university, one of the students asked me a question about alignment. I explained that one of the most important things for a leader to do is to be able to connect long-term goals to short-term actions. And leaders can do that best when they can share the big picture.
As a leader, it is imperative that you always remind your team why they are there. Help them to understand the purpose behind your company. Give them a reason to see that the little actions they do every day are important to accomplishing a bigger goal. Help them to see that they are many artists contributing to one masterpiece.
No job is exciting all the time. There are times that every job will have its drudgery. You can either inspire your people to put in their best efforts in even the drudgery, or you can let them trudge on their own just for their paycheck. It’s your choice whether you will help your people see only the little areas they are contributing, or if you will help them see how they are contributing to the big picture.
Here are three ways you can remind your team of the big picture when they are trudging through their daily grind.
When I was a new manager, I had the hardest time giving constructive feedback to my assistant. When it was time to share with her what she needed to know to help her improve, I couldn’t even get the words out. It was so difficult for me to say, that I had to try multiple times just to be able to tell her—because I was too concerned about saying what she might have thought was bad news.
My early days as a manager showed one extreme of improper communication in giving performance reviews. Other managers think that yelling the hard truth is the best way to give bad news. They think that it’s OK to say whatever they think needs to be said, without thinking about what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of what they said. Clearly both extremes are not helpful.
So how should we give bad news? What’s the best way to help employees improve? Here are four tips for how to say what needs to be said, even if it’s bad news.
I once heard a story about a young, aspiring actor in Hollywood who was invited to go to one of the local parties. It was in effect a Hollywood networking function where famous actors and actresses attended. One of the movie actors there was Walter Matthau. Walter Matthau during his lifetime appeared in more than 60 movies, and won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and two Tony Awards. Reportedly, Matthau asked the young actor how it was going. The aspiring actor replied, “I’m just looking for that one big break!” Matthau laughed, and said, “Kid, it’s not the one big break. It’s the fifty big breaks.”
Just like the aspiring actor, you won’t achieve overnight success. One big break will not help you. Unless it is supported by other breaks, that one big break will fade. You will attain success through incremental progress—by gaining one big break after another.
You can achieve the success you want if you will focus on these practices.