Within any organization, the leadership team is the catalyst for the organizational culture. What is happening in the organization at every level is a reflection of how the organization is being led. If the turnover is high, there is a very good chance the leadership team does not have a strong enough focus on people and relationships. If drama is high between one department and another, there is a very good chance the leaders of those two areas have drama with each other. Keep in mind that the positive of this is just as true as the negative!
When the leadership team is fully in alignment and working well together, the next layer tends to fall in line and the next and the next. At the core of the power of any organization is the ability to connect well with others. At the core of the drama in any organization is the inability to relate well with one another. This means that steps must be taken from the top down, not just from the middle down, in order to create the leadership harmony and leadership vision required for success. I know what you're thinking... "How is that done, Jody?! Some of our leaders can't stand each other!" The answer is simple, but not easy. I will outline the three steps you must follow below.
1. Have a real purpose, something bigger than just profits, that people get behind and get excited about. The three pieces of that message include what the primary action of the purpose is, what the primary result of the purpose will be, and the BIG reason behind the purpose. We are here to (action) in order to (result) because (reason). Be clear, concise, and fully engaged in the values behind the purpose.
2. Intentionally build the leadership abilities and connection of the team from the top down. There are quite a few CEOs out there who are unwilling to learn new things because they already have arrived at the top. Michael Jordan had a coach the entire time he played ball. Tiger Woods has always had a coach. The best of the best never quit learning. The example that is set at the very top is the example that will be followed. Spend time together. Do team building activities. Learn, grow, and strive for the fulfillment of the purpose of the organization. Never, never, never quit learning!
3. Invest in the next level skills of your people. Laurence J. Peters said that people are systematically promoted to one level above what they have been taught to succeed at. As leaders in your organization, it is critical that you prepare your people for success. This means that you must invest in their ability to succeed at the level above where they are right now. When you develop the management skills of a person before they become a manager, you are demonstrating your desire for them to truly succeed.
In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
When you intentionally amp up your efforts to create success from the top down, your people and your culture respond positively. A great culture creates great profits, but a sole focus on profits does not create a great culture. Take your leadership to the next level and your increasing profits will chase you down and fill your coffers with more than you can imagine!
Amp it up!