20th September 2018

Is the culture in Your Business Contagious?

Chief Energy Officer

A colleague of mine recently reminded me that the initials CEO also stands for Chief Energy Officer and he is so right. The amount of energy the CEO brings to the business, every day, either positive or negative energy will be the amount of energy that the firm displays. So how conscious are you of that fact and what do you do to manage your energy and your mood so that your business can perform better, and more consistently over a longer period of time?

Culture is contagious 

If 15 years of coaching business owners and business leaders has taught me anything it is that the business will always both reflect and amplify the traits and characteristics of the person or the people at the top of the business. If the leader is mean, aggressive and negative, the business will be mean, aggressive and negative too. If the leader is naïve and too weak, the business will be naïve and weak too. Culture is contagious and the values of the leader will spread. Like attracts like and we will unconsciously perpetuate the felony by hiring people cut from a similar cloth. That is why culture is so important and why it is critical that we consciously manage that culture.

People judge by the behaviour they see

But all the management of culture in the world will be a total waste of time and effort if the leaders are behaving in a different way. People judge others not by what they say but by what they do. If you are a boss, how you are is how the people beneath you and alongside you in the organisation will be too. So all leaders have a duty to be the best they can be so that the people they lead can be the best they can be and by extension the company can be the best it can be too.

Spend time and do an SSK

It is worth spending a little time thinking through the ramifications of this concept. Spend a little time doing a personal SSK. This stands for Stop, Start, Keep on doing. List out all of the things that you think you bring the business that is valuable and that you should keep on doing. It might be having a positive effect on others, catching people doing something right, positively challenging. Try to make the list as honest and comprehensive as you can.

Then do the same for things that you feel you know you should stop doing. It may be working stupid hours, being short tempered, being unreasonably critical, being negative. You will have an idea of what should go on your list. Against this background jot down a few things that you will start doing, greeting everyone with a smile, spending a bit more time in getting to know your colleagues, listening more actively, for instance.

Armed with these notes you can probably start to make some commitments about how you are going to change. Write them down. Make them smart and hold yourself accountable to changing and then notice what you notice.

Share your thoughts – it helps.

As your confidence begins to build you may want to share your thoughts with a close colleague or friend, someone who can be truthful with you. You will get an added perspective which will allow you to repeat the exercise with more accuracy and all of a sudden you have your own personal development plan. You are on the road to getting better every day, and as you know if you are getting better every day that is the pattern you will be establishing in your business too.

Remember every business is a reflection of the person at the top of that business.