I received a phone call from the Head of People in a ‘funky’ tech business. He asked me to come in and talk about how we could look at “transforming the culture”. He came and met me at reception and walked me through the building. We were doing the ‘small talk thing’ when we got to floor where the call centre was on. Then I hear this loud and aggressive voice shout out; “How many times do I have to tell you?! Read the bl^&dy script”. I look over and there is a guy leaning over his desk, with his hands in the air, looking down and the woman who is leaning back with a scared timid face.
I look at the client. He shrugs his shoulders, keeps walking and says to me; “That’s why you are here”. I think to myself, I am not going to fix this if you are prepared to walk past this type of behaviour.
This is not an uncommon story. How often do we see behaviours such as speaking poorly to each other, bullying, gossip and spreading rumours, just to name a few. These and more hold us back from building great leaders, teams and cultures. Then there are the smaller ones that still need to be discussed; people rocking up late, individuals failing to speak up in meetings and little errors being continually made.
Why are we waiting for someone else to fix it?
It starts with YOU.
If you see that something is not ok then you need to have the conversion. With them or someone else who can deal with it.
In Julie Miller and Brian Bedfords book ‘Culture Without Accountability’ they tell us that “Every time a leader makes decisions, they signal what is important to the organisation”. The same is said for what they don’t do.
A culture is not determined by values on the wall. These set the foundation and vision for how we want to be. It’s our actions that decide the type of person we are and culture we create.
It’s our actions not our words that drive trust and respect, that accelerate engagement, that create inspiring leaders and people. You don’t have to be a manager to influence. Just someone who cares about those around you.
If you are watching something that’s not ok, then you are allowing it. You are giving permission for the behaviour or actions to continue. Yep. True.
So what are you currently walking past that you know you shouldn’t be? And what are you going to do about it?