The Most Important Thing About Us

the way we treat each other

Incompetent leaders are pushed around by negative environments.

Skillful leaders create positive environments and manage emotion.

The way people feel, while they work, is leadership’s opportunity. You can’t control people’s feelings, but you can create interactions and environments that have positive impact.

Leader as environment builder:

  1. Commit to environment-building. The way we treat each other, while we work, is the most important thing about us.
  2. Paint a picture of a place where people love coming to work. What words best describe positive environment?
  3. Eliminate behaviors that work against positive environments. Culture sinks to the level of behaviors you tolerate. Building environments includes saying, “We don’t do that here.” Eliminate:
    • Rulemaking. Rules are the answer to incompetence and desperation.
    • Working on long-term projects that don’t have short-term milestones.
    • Persistent over-work.
    • Micro-managing.
    • Complaining without solutions.
    • Blow-ups.
    • Focusing on weaknesses at the expense of maximizing strengths.
    • Blaming without taking responsibility for your own life.
    • People who don’t fit.
  4. Embrace behaviors that build positive environments. (Start with #2 on this list.)
    • Ask about the things you want to achieve. “How can we do our best to build an environment where people love coming to work?”
    • List three behaviors that make people feel supported. Do them today.
    • Set a few achievable goals. Every goal doesn’t have to be a stretch goal.
    • Describe success. How will you do your best to honor success today?
    • Prepare people for accountability by telling them the questions you’ll ask in the next meeting.
    • Bring up a festering topic with kindness and patience. Try making things better, not perfect.
    • End short interactions by asking, “What’s the next step,” or, “How may I help?”
    • Choose challenges that energize at least 70% of the time. You can’t do what you hate and expect to love work.
    • Have conversations rather than making rules.

Which behaviors are most detrimental to building positive environments?

Which behaviors are most important to building positive environments?