By Rio Pisony

Every company strives to have an excellent corporate culture (honestly, have you ever heard of a company that wasn’t striving for that?). So, the culture production begins. The leadership team discusses what they want their culture to do, develops core values with a consultant, asks communicators to share the new messages with employees, and then waits for the high-performing results to come in.

Kellie Garrett Leadership Workshop
Kellie Garrett presents on how leaders spark or destroy company culture on Nov. 15 at the Ranchmen’s Club.

You may be shocked to hear that the culture flops, like a blockbuster that went straight to Netflix.

There could be many reasons why a culture did not succeed—incompetent leadership, poor strategy, or lack of communication. Kellie Garrett, PCC, ICD.D, CDWF, and IABC Fellow, has heard it all. Kellie joined us for half a day on Nov. 15, drawing on her professional and personal life experiences why corporate cultures fail; many companies measure only what work gets done, not how the work is done.

How Leaders Spark or Destroy Culture and Employee Engagement

Companies with the most successful cultures haven’t forgotten the critical ingredient: humans. From lead actors to background extras, every person has a part to play in how work is completed. But humans are tricky. We are internally focused on that pesky voice called ‘ego,’ stressing about the work that needs to be done within our own area, not the company’s goals.

Kellie Garrett
Kellie highlights the cultural values everyone wants to have.

This is where the inconsistencies in cultural messages and experiences happen. Employees hear from the C-Suite how culture should function, but experience the opposite with their direct leader. It’s easy to point blame at leaders. After all, they’re the ones who are supposed to be leading this culture thing, right?

Google completed a study that found the most successful teams had a high degree of psychological safety. Team members who trusted their colleagues and leaders were comfortable with taking risks, admitting mistakes, being creative, and working with others on projects.

We all walk into work with a choice; are you going to be cynical or possibility-oriented? All you have to do, is act like a true leader by displaying (deep breath) vulnerability and trust.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where Kellie unveils the key to being yourself at work.

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