How to Lead a Great Team Inside a Not-So-Great Company
We owe it to the people we are called to lead to make our teams the absolute best place to work—no matter what the rest of the organization looks like.
“You can talk about culture all you want to, Dave. But, how can we change anything if the people above us do nothing about our culture?” Unfortunately, I consistently hear this question in big corporations, family-run businesses and in law enforcement and governmental agencies. CEO’s, Owners, Police Chiefs and City Managers are responsible for the culture of the organizations they lead—but so is each leader.
I always say, “If you want to know why a culture is the way it is, look at the leader.” The leader is ultimately responsible for how people behave—not just with customers or the public. They are also responsible to each other. But, what do you do if you are inside of a company who does not have a healthy culture? What is a leader to do if they are stuck in a larger organization, led by someone who doesn’t focus on the culture?
Ultimately, no matter where we are in the org chart, the culture of the team we lead is our responsibility. If the organization’s culture stinks, it remains our Duty to make the team we lead the best place to work at within that company or department. We have a moral obligation to our team to make our own unique micro-culture the one everyone wants to do business with as well as being the one everyone wants to be a part of.
Time-after-time, I have heard the same complaint. Time-after-time, I have given the same advice. Control what you can control. You cannot change what the leaders above you are doing about culture, but you can control what you do in reaction to it.
We owe it to the people we are called to lead to make our teams the absolute best place to work, no matter what the rest of the organization looks like. If enough frontline and mid-level leaders lead the culture of their teams this way, the organization—as a whole