The Culture Engine
Leaders build culture by intent or neglect.
Culture building begins with who you are.
Chris Edmonds, in his new book “The Culture Engine,” begins by taking readers through a series of useful exercises to develop and hone their personal leadership philosophy. I found the exercises enjoyable, illuminating, and helpful.
#1. Clarify your purpose based on service to others.
- What talents am I choosing to leverage?
- Whom am I focused on serving?
- What am I striving for?
#2. Define your values.
#3. Illustrate “valued behaviors.” Describe exactly how you expect to interact with people.
#4. Formalize a leadership philosophy that includes:
- Beliefs about leadership.
- Intentions while leading.
- What others can expect from you.
- Why are you serving in an influencing role today?
- What results are your leadership efforts generating today? (Positive or Negative)
- Who am I serving today? Note the roles and the specific players.
- What is the impact today of your leadership efforts on your relationships with the players noted in the preceding item?
Once you clarify your personal leadership philosophy, it’s time to get serious about culture building.
Getting under the hood:
- De-Insulate Yourself. Connect with players outside your inner circle. Find new sources of information about what’s happening around your workplace.
- Genuinely connect with team members.
- Connect with every department.
- Learn names.
- Engage in conversation about families and hobbies.
- Visit for five minutes without problem solving.
- Seek out truth-tellers. Rise above those who simply confirm your perceptions. Listen to people who express their perceptions about your plans, decisions, and actions.
- Share your assumptions and invite feedback.
Read “The Culture Engine” to learn Chris’ 3D framework for developing an organizational constitution:
- Define the culture.
- Delineate the behaviors.
- Draft a constitution.
What culture-building strategies have you found effective?
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