The Leadercast: Culture. Choices. People.



Wow.


Mind is reeling.

So many thoughts.

So much inspiration.

Thank you Leadercast 2012.



What I took from the Leadercast Conference this year was quite simple and can be summed up in 3 words:

CULTURE. CHOICES. PEOPLE.

Probably could even boil it down to just PEOPLE.

There were many great speakers including:
Angela Ahrendts, Burberry
Patrick Lencioni, author/speaker
John Maxwell, author/speaker

And many great quotes including:
In order for a company to truly experience a transformation of its culture, the leaders must first experience their own transformation John Maxwell 
The choices you make, make you John Maxwell
Managers lead everybody the same, Leaders lead everybody different John Maxwell
To build a healthy organizational culture the first thing you need is to "Build a Cohesive Leadership Team" (Patrick Lencioni) without that true cultural transformation is impossible.
A leader is a dedicated practitioner in the art of CHOOSING Dr. Sheena Iyengar
Culture trumps vision. Every. Time. Angela Ahrendts, Burberry.

Being stuck in the middle of our own corporate transformation, there are days when I can't see the forest for the trees.
Change is hard. One of the speakers mentioned that being a leader is an uphill road the whole way! Ouch.

As I've reflected back on my experience as a leader, my company's transformation journey, and what I just learned at this years Leadercast I have concluded that more than ever we need to connect with our people.


We need to be vulnerable. Let people in. Let them see your sweaty armpits and have a laugh. Let them know that you don't have all the answers. Let them know that most of them are smarter than you. Let them know that the culture IS the people.

Let them know that the choices that they make every day ARE the culture of the organization and let fellow leaders know that the choices they make every day ARE the culture.

You cannot side step or get around it: The culture of our organizations is ENTIRELY created by You+Me.

I am realizing that we must all work together to build it. We cannot buy it. We cannot "copy" someone else's culture. We must work together to create our own. Meaningful yet difficult work.

In a moment of despondence I threw the following update out to my Facebook timeline:

"My mind is spinning. What an amazing day at Leadercast. Wishing it wasn't so hard to implement the strategies and learnings in the workplace."

One of my coworkers who is much wiser than I, responded with the following:


Start with you. Then have a significant conversation. Then have another one. Eventually it all adds up.

So there you have it.
Start with you.
Start making the right choices every day.
Build relationship with your fellow leaders to create space for unity.
Be real.
Be vulnerable.

Watch transformation happen!


Comments

  1. I got it, it start with us, ourselves. That's great, thanks for sharing. Good luck to implement it in your work place. Cheers!

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  2. I don't agree that "Culture trumps vision. Every. Time." Vision and culture should not be in the opposite table. They should work together. It's kind of like egg and chicken question -- who is first. Well, at some stage you need either one of them first. However, it would not working if you just display vision as a decoration. Implement and update. Make it part of company's culture.

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    1. Great comments ! Thanks for weighing in. That quote came from the CEO of Burberry who in very short order transformed that company. I place some weight behind her given her track record...

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  3. Yes start with you- Micheal Jackson - man in the mirror

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  4. I agree with your coworker. The key to his/her observation was - you've gotta take action!

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  5. I would have loved to know how the Burberry lady continued from "Culture trumps vision. Every Time" Reads like one those bold statements people make. When they just up and decide to be. Bold. Was that a "get on the bandwagon (or get lost)-type thing?

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    1. I have the videocast so will have to rewatch. Too much to wrap my head around it the first time.

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  6. Great take always. I have also appreciated maxwell and lencioni for quite a while.

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  7. As my dad used to say: You have to stand still a long time with your mouth open before a roast turkey flies into it all by itself. :)

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  8. How many transformations does one go through during a company and own life cycle ? How many (perceived) transformations have you been through since ?

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    1. Own life cycle - I'm approaching 40 and would say I've personally undergone 3 and am currently in my 4th... first one involved Jesus, second one involved Dad getting brain cancer, third one involved my Dad hospitalized for seizures and my fourth is involving divorce. Each one has caused me to transform.

      Company life cycle - I've been with the company for 13 years and I truly believe we are in the midst of our first ever true transformation. We are 2 years in and it seems the heavy lifting stage is only just beginning...

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  9. Jordan great thoughts you shared. I will add--Be Accountable. Admit the good and the bad. You will gain the respect of all when you admit you are human.

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  10. I particularly like this statement "We need to be vulnerable. Let people in. Let them see your sweaty armpits and have a laugh. Let them know that you don't have all the answers. Let them know that most of them are smarter than you. Let them know that the culture IS the people." Regarding culture trumps vision I tend to think it is more that a poor organisational culture resists (or even destroys) the chance to move towards a sound vision. Ric-orglearn ps. Sounds like it was a great conference.

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    1. Wow Richard, insight! Thanks. I agree that the culture itself may be what is destroying the vision.... So the test is how to change that culture which brings us back to Me+You...

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  11. I started my first business in 1989 and I'd say that one of the toughest challenges was creating a culture that worked for us, our clients, and our staff. Although the business was successful quickly, that fast growth put a big strain on resources and got our culture growing on the wrong track. We made a lot of mistakes -- and lost some good people -- before we found the right mix.

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  12. I can't stand when people mouth tis rubbish:

    "To build a healthy organizational culture the first thing you need is to "Build a Cohesive Leadership Team" (Patrick Lencioni) without that true cultural transformation is impossible."

    Toyota in Australia - the "true" culture comes first company, needed to let 350 people go... so they worked out who would go IN SECRET marched security guards to peoples work stations and REMOVED THEM ... how is that for culture??

    Some people had been with Toyota 15 years...

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    1. Wow, tough situation. Don't know all the details but in our co we try to be open and vulnerable with our decisions including when we were looking at outsourcing. We let our staff know that we were looking into it. It ended up not making financial sense and became a non issue however the point is that we let them know ahead of time. Being upfront as much as possible leads to trust.

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  13. Sounds like an excellent conference!! Good quotes from John Maxwell. I need to reread some of his books.

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  14. ACTION! It's the key! Great post!

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  15. Jessica MartinezMay 6, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    As I am learning through the growth of my company, there is a symbiotic relationship between the various levels within the company. I cannot ask my group to do things I would not do, but I also have to make sure that there are people that are going to be able to show me new and interesting things.

    It is imperative that I constantly be reminded and grasping the concept that 1) I am not perfect and 2) not everyone is going to like what I say. This helps me not let my ego get in the way of progress while also making sure I don't turn into a complete asshat.

    Mistakes will happen, but I hope that I won't make them more than once. Thanks for the article. I will try to make it to some of these types of conferences, but in the meantime, I will keep reading your blogs :)

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  16. Certainly some nice points to walk away with.

    Not 100% with "Start making the right choices every day." unless of course the act of making "a choice" is the right choice.

    A pleasure to share this with our friends.

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  17. Wonderful post and highlights. I particularly like your coworker's response to your status message, sometimes we need our teammates to remind us that any large undertaking is a series of small steps. Sounds like a great conference, wish I could've been there.

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  19. Thanks for sharing excerpts of the training/workshop you attended. To tell you honestly, I'm a bit jealous of you. I love John Maxwell but I haven't really attended his training personally.

    "In order for a company to truly experience a transformation of its culture, the leaders must first experience their own transformation." John Maxwell

    I believe the same, it all boils to one thing... the transformation begins with YOU.

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  20. Great sharing !! Thanks a lot !!

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  21. I'm not sure I'm on board with everything that has been said, but I do agree with Richard on this statement "We need to be vulnerable. Let people in. Let them see your sweaty armpits and have a laugh. Let them know that you don't have all the answers. Let them know that most of them are smarter than you. Let them know that the culture IS the people." I find it hard to argue that any meaningful transformation doesn't start with YOU. If I cannot myself transform, how can I expect anyone else to? Maybe I actually agree more than I initially thought I did. This has me thinking and that is something I appreciate.

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