by Joe Pane, TCI Franchisee
(Excerpt from the upcoming book "Culture Is King")
When it comes to your team or organisation what is culture? Culture is a state of being. Culture is a quality or emotional state you want your client or customer to constantly experience when they meet you or any of your team. For example if you want your clients to feel trust then you and your team must be trust - first. This means that you will do what you say you will do. It means following up when you said you would follow up. It means that you will only promise what you can definitely deliver. It means that everybody on your team must be on the same page. As you already know, you can't experience trust by merely telling your client you can be trusted. In fact when was the last time you trusted someone who said " You can trust me !" Trust needs to be earnt and it is a state of being. A culture of trust is like glass. Once it has been shattered it is impossible to put back together. I trust this example illustrates what culture is, and why you need to consciously choose it!
You see, if culture is a quality or emotional state your client is experiencing on a consistent basis, then you have culture whether you are aware of it or not! The question is - can you clearly define the culture you currently have?
The other question is - what qualities or emotional states are you experiencing in your work place? Do you like it? Because I can tell you that what you are experiencing on a constant basis, your clients are experiencing on a constant basis! If you have clarity on what your culture is and you love it - you're done. No need to read any further ! Remember this - the results that you are getting most of the time are a reflection of your culture. How are your results ?
In the 1970's there was an amazing football coach who was legend amongst his peers. He was a legend because he was known to take teams on who were languishing near last on the points table, and have them playing off in a grand final or superbowl within two years! He was legend because he did this five times with five different teams. He was legend because he did this maintaining 98% of the personnel ! His name was Lou Holtz.
How did he do it? Simple. He introduced three very basic and powerful rules that each team member must live, breath, walk and talk. If they weren't prepared to follow these rules they were out. That simple. Have you noticed the simpler something is the more powerful it is? These three rules were powerful because they each corresponded to the three unconscious questions every human being is asking of every other human being. In fact every human being is asking these questions of themselves as well.
The first rule: Do the right thing. Yep, that's it! How do you know you are doing the right thing? There are many indicators of what's right as there are humans on this planet. However, if we know the first unconscious question that every client is asking you, then you will be answering and satisfying this rule regardless of the type of client you deal with. To engrain this rule into your organization, like Holtz did into his teams, each team member needs to satisfy the criteria of the first rule. That criteria is the first unconscious question every client asks you, which is - Can you be trusted ? Can your team members be trusted? How do you know if the answer is yes or no? Simple - look at your clients. Do they trust you, or do they only trust the team member they are dealing with? What about you as the leader - can you be trusted? Your team is a reflection of you as a leader. The degree of trust in you, can be measured through your team which is ultimately measured through your clients. Do you trust yourself? Will you pick up your dog's dodo at 10pm on a Tuesday night when no one is looking? You know nobody will trace it back to you if you don't. Well it is the decisions you make in moments like that, moments that seem small and insignificant that reflect how you play on the 'bigger' stages. As a leader you need to remember and know that the little things are the big things. In Holtz's team you answered these questions through your actions and attitudes. The clues are there for all to see, feel, hear and know.
The Second Rule: Be the best you can be in always and in all ways. When you think you can't dig any deeper you must dig a little more. When you feel there is nothing left in the tank you will do it one more time. When you see someone giving it their all you must allow yourself to be inspired and act on that inspiration. It is when we think, feel or say we need love the most, it is probably when we deserve it the least. This is the culture of a successful team. A team with happy clients. A team with results that are sustainable. As leader you need to be this all the time. Your team watches everything you do and don't do, everything you say or don't say and everything you think or don't think. This rule is simple. How do you know you are fulfilling it? By answering the second unconscious question all clients are asking you - Are you committed to excellence? What is excellence? Commitment to completion. How committed are you to your craft? If you were about to have brain surgery you would be wanting to know that the surgeon is truly committed to her craft. All your clients are unconsciously wanting to know - how committed your team is to their craft. Your team's commitment to their craft is a reflection of your commitment to be the best leader you know to be. How is your craft of leadership going? In Holtz's team you answered these questions through your actions and attitudes. The clues are there for all to see, feel, hear and know!
The third rule: Treat Others As You Would Like to be Treated. This of course has been known through the centuries as the golden rule. It's pretty simple huh? Yet how many people use it? This is very easy to do. The easier it is to do, the easier it is to not do! This is easy to do when everything is flowing your way. This rule is to be followed especially when it is not all going your way. How do you measure whether you are facing the right direction with this? Well, this corresponds to a third unconscious question you are being asked by all clients and team members - Do you care about me? Not do you care about me as a client or as an employee or as anything other than - Do you care about me as a person? All of your clients and team members are asking you this very question - most of the time unconsciously. How you experience this in your business can be measured in client loyalty. If a client or employee truly feels validated and cared for as a person above all else, they will be with you for a very long time. In Holtz's team you answered these questions through your actions and attitudes. The clues are there for all to see, feel, hear and know!
How do you implement these three rules and continually be answering the three unconscious questions? You guessed it - it's real simple and easy. When nobody is looking and you 'can't' be found out. When you think it doesn't matter, be trust, be commitment, be care. Someone is always watching. That somebody is you. More specifically that somebody is your unconscious mind which continually eaves drops on everything you are doing. If you are not in alignment with trust commitment and care you will be found out because sooner or later you will discover that your unconscious mind will trip you up. If you are in alignment with trust, commitment and care then you are an empowered leader which means you will see, feel, hear and know this through your team and ultimately through your clients