Most of the posts on this blog focus on the benefits for the corporation of investing in culture. Time to think about us personally!
I have found many personal benefits for the individual HR professionals, business leaders and consultants who become involved in leading, supporting or managing culture. It”s always good when something is good for the business and good for you personally too, right? It”s more motivating!
My research has found that those who have successfully dedicated themselves to this mission develop three characteristics which serve them well across every aspect of their life.
1. Values-driven. To lead a culture requires the courage to take a stand for what you believe in and make decisions which may not be popular. As you become more skillful at operating in this way, you become guided by an inner set of standards, rather than an outer set of expectations. You feel more “you”, anchored in your ethical framework.
2. Responsible. It is easy to point the finger at others, and adopt a belief that the culture would change if only they would change, feeling a victim to the behaviours and actions of others. Influencing culture requires a different attitude, one which asks “in the face of the behavior of these other people, how do I choose to respond, what can I do to progress things?” The skill to take this approach is useful to dealing with any adversity.
3. Open to feedback. Feedback from others is a crucial piece of the process of growth and change. When you learn to receive this feedback openly, without defensiveness, you learn a skill which is valuable across all your relationships. What started as a project at work becomes a different way of operating in life.
Here is a good video from the Lemonade Group (thanks Chris Brogan for linking me to this one) about some people who used these three skills to turn their lives around after the trauma of losing their job. They reached in and found the qualities of values-based, responsible and open to feedback and used them to recreate themselves.
Whatever the outcome for your company, the culture journey is worthwhile for your own personal growth.
Carolyn is the CEO of Walking the Talk and author of ‘Walking the Talk: Building a Culture for Success’ (Random House).
Twitter @walkingourtalk or LinkedIn.