Monday June 29, 2015
This week all kind of people are talking about our Founding Fathers; what they said, what they meant, what they codified, what they didn’t. Americans of every age, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, political party, and any combo or mix thereof, will all join one another watching civic demonstrations of patriotism. We’ll eat, parade, watch fireworks, talk politics, and eat some more. The bold souls may cross state lines to get contraband. I meant fireworks; not weed.
This week almost everyone is patriotic; we look like we are in unity. Next week we’ll revert to the normal state of things where some will think they are more patriotic than others who are of a different political persuasion. And so it goes in the good ol’ USA. People seem to believe that it’s only the hearts of those who think just like them, that really beat true to the red, white, and blue.
Even though we may interpret the words of our Founding Fathers differently, no one likes it when they think their country isn’t being true to who it is. The same is true for leaders, bosses, or organizations. Ya gotta stay true. Here are some ways to demonstrate you are:
- Be clear. There are numerous ways to define and describe your organization. Whether it’s vision, values, norms, goals, strategies, or what I like to call “intollerables,” clarity is your friend. When you are vague, you leave things subject to interpretation. That’s where assumptions come to play. And that’s rarely good.
- Be frequent. Don’t think of “Top of Mind Awareness” as something relegated to sales. Keep your vision, values, norms, goals, strategies, and intollerables on the top of everyone’s minds by referring to them as often as you possibly can. That includes at the start of meetings, in performance appraisals, in trainings, and in celebrations.
- Be thorough. You don’t have to use a lot of words. But when you leave gaps in the information you provide, human nature is such that people will fill the gaps with their own version of reality, which is usually different. Don’t give them that opportunity. Paint a compelling picture – a complete enough picture – that they don’t have to add anything to it.
- Be consistent. Play it how you say it. If you portray a culture that is incongruous with how you really operate, you’ll be viewed as anything from unrealistic to a hypocrite. Live your words, or don’t say them.
I hope you enjoy celebrating the 4th. If you take time to reminisce about the founding of our country, think about how the Founding Fathers did or didn’t do those things. And then think about how current leaders – both sides of the aisle - do or don’t. Take in a Naturalization Ceremony – you can always find one this time of year, and it will help you remember what’s great about America. Watch another firecracker go off, and ponder - have we stayed true? And then next week, ponder the same question about your organization.
Open Door Solutions uses a people-centric approach to transform your organizational dreams into your team’s passion. Whether you need to hire, fire, cut costs or expand, we think differently, tackling business realities from the inside out. By combining HR expertise, operational know-how, public relations mastery, and quality management, we build long-term success and employee satisfaction to create a team that will impact more than your bottom line—they’ll champion your vision.