I’ve been exploring how organizations suffer from a culture of “good-enough.” It’s typically a top-down job – when leaders don’t care enough about being the best they can be, why would staff?
Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
In my previous post, I mentioned two steps leaders and managers can take to demonstrate their care and understanding: be truthful/direct and be considerate.
Here are two more steps to conquer your “good-enough” culture, from author Chowdhury, in The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough:
HOW TO CONQUER A “GOOD-ENOUGH” CULTURE
Take Responsibility: Demonstrate responsibility and instill the same in your people. Accept critical feedback, but not without viable proposals for solutions. Don’t accept a mentality of “it’s not my job.” Expect everyone to participate and follow through on assignments. Prompt everyone to add value and make positive changes.
This encourages engagement, positive outlooks, and a drive for the best ideas. Forge the habit of analyzing strategies and their potential outcomes. An overall aim to enhance things for everyone is established.
Staff responds by getting involved, taking action, and being answerable for what they do. Everyone strives for improvement, and they raise their expectations. People find it exhilarating to be responsible for their portion of the overall success. They feel a sense of unity, and are encouraged to ask for help when needed. Staff go the extra mile because they care, and because good enough is not an option.
Be Determined: Lead by example. Show your team that success requires resolve, and nothing worth achieving comes easily. I’ve seen this in my coaching practice: leaders who persevere inspire the passion in their people to do the same. They show their team that they are serious about making commitments and staying the course. That demonstrates the importance of decisions and the worth of the goal. Support long-term improvements and reject quick fixes. Leaders who don’t give up when things get tough make a lasting impression on their people. That impression grows when you understand the struggles your people have, and help them with the needed resources.
Workers respond to this with a determination generated from within. They take ownership as they are empowered to act and resolve. People adopt a willingness to change and improve, individually and collectively. They reject short cuts. This drives a can-do culture. They care about contributing to lasting value because they learn that good enough never provides that value.
Caring about excellence is everything. A truthful leader molds a team that improves communication, timeliness and a thorough review of all difficult issues, large and small. A considerate leader demonstrates the importance of relationships to success. A committed leader raises the level of accountability within their staff. Employees who are held accountable by their manager also hold each other to account. Determined leaders foster a group spirit that overcomes challenges that once made people surrender.
Leaders can transform their organizations and reach potential never imagined if they put their immediate needs aside and care for their people and the outcomes of their endeavors. Their caring becomes contagious. Everyone’s felt needs will be met more effectively when a caring culture is in place.