2 Ways to Become A Culture Creator
It’s a word that many feel is merely a byproduct, a litmus test if you will of effectiveness or proper goal achievement.
It is seen often as abstract and elusive, yet I find that coincidental culture is catastrophic.
What could be worse than an environment created merely by happenstance, with no real intentionality in the area of direction or vision. That is a culture that cannot be utilized, led, or even evaluated. It merely creates space for people to exist.
But whether you are in ministry or the marketplace, I hope that you are never pursuing a place for others to occupy but a culture they can personify. My attempt as a leader is not to build a group of followers, but to develop a family of owners.
While this may seem obvious, I think many leaders struggle to bring those in their sphere of influence to a place of ownership, but this mentality from your team and followers is directly affected by the quality of your culture.
Owners operate from a place of empowerment, making decisions and developing your ministry/organizations. While followers are much more like my puppy, always available, panting by your ear waiting for you to throw them a “bone”. So if culture is so essential and far more than mere atmosphere, how do we create it?
For the sake of length and your valuable time, I will share just two of many perspectives that may prove beneficial.
1 | PEOPLE WILL REPLICATE WHAT YOU CELEBRATE.
Catchy phrases branded “core values” have run rampant through churches and organizations over the last decade, as many leaders try and add value through cheesy acronyms such as…
H – honesty
E – excellence
A – accountability
R – respect
T – teamwork
And while that may stroke a sweet side of you, I wonder how often we hear a term such as “we are not a crowd, we are a family” (a value of victory youth), enjoy how it makes us feel, and choose to adapt it on the spot declaring it a perfect value for our own culture!
But if in the midst of this grand declaration you continue celebrating production over community, a packed room over personal development, and events over intentional environments, your prior culture will remain.
Because if I champion a phrase while celebrating the alternative reality, those mixed signals will cause even your most dedicated leaders confusion. And confusion murders healthy culture, while clarity of vision and value (accompanied by the proper celebration of both) leads to a thriving organization.
2 | INTENTIONAL COLLABORATION LEADS TO CULTURAL INNOVATION.
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Sure- but I would add, “show me your collaborators and I’ll show you your culture.” Yes, culture bleeds from the top down, but it is championed by those closest to you.
I have seen so many leaders (and been one myself) that have celebrated individuals who make them feel valued rather than leaders who carry strong virtue. Remember we want owners not followers, and often the promotion gets handed to the follower who can play the part, not the owner who can program the play.
And while a simple advancement of a person may feel harmless, remember that every promotion is attached to a platform, and every platform produces culture. Intentional culture creators are careful to only draw close individuals who embody the values of their organization not just in word but in deed.
Your inner circle defines the culture of your outer reach, so carefully craft your crew and watch them embody your culture to everyone around them!
Hopefully there was a nugget or two you can take away as you pioneer your personal and/or organizational culture. Please respond with any questions, comments, or further conversation. Thanks!