How To Create a Positive, Vibrant and Engaged Culture

This is Steve Shallenberger welcoming you to this becoming your best podcast today. We’re so grateful to have you listen in in wherever you might be in the world today. I’d like to begin this podcast by just sharing an experience I had not long ago a good friend of mine called and wanted to know if he could come by and visit and indicated that one of the businesses that he had said he had taken in a partner me and this partner basically over a period of six months or seven months was really the office manager and this person wasn’t there every day and what happened over the course of that time as this individual turned the office against them and actually intended to bankrupt the company so that they could buy it at a rock bottom price. And by the time this was discovered the employees were against this individual. Things were just in total disarray. And he said what do you do. What do you recommend. How can I turn this around. Should I just clean house and start over. What’s the starting point. And so this gave us the opportunity to think about some of the things that we can do to be transformational leaders to bring the best out and the people that we work with and make the best of difficult circumstances and in this particular case we’re really talking about how do you create a culture that is positive and vibrant. And you have employees that are engaged that want to be there that are excited and so the real question is what is a way that we can turn this situation around.

One of the tools that really has to do with this whole part of building transformational relationships and teams so particularly the four principles of highly successful leaders that are engaged in this area are to live the Golden Rule to build and maintain trust to be an effective communicator really listening and understanding and then being able to communicate well. And last of all is to innovate with our imagination. These components come together and unleash excellence. So what’s at the foundation of something that can help us and a tool that I recommended this particular day to this good friend who is a wonderful person and it is something called the triad of the relationship. And imagine if you will. And it really invokes up these four principles in the process. So just imagine for a second a milk stool that has three legs the triad of the relationship all three legs are vitally important. And so if you remove one leg on the milk stool what happens. Well yeah of course it falls over. So all three of these are important. And for the last 35 years they have been a basic condition of employment for our organization. So every single employee including myself makes a commitment to do these three things. And this is what I recommended for consideration for my my friend that day. The first one is this this is the first commitment is a commitment to being trustworthy. Essentially what this means is that we do what we say and especially that if there’s a problem we let you know that we’re going to have a problem doing this and we make other arrangements. But it’s good communication around that.

In addition it also means that we are loyal to the absent. In other words we commit that we will not speak negatively of any person in their absence to the contrary. We’ll actually look for ways to speak positively about this person. And in addition we would make a commitment that if we have an issue we’re best off and we commit taken it to the person we have the issue with in the event that you can’t solve it then the norm and organization is you certainly can take it to your supervisor and then work to work it out. But this is it is the best person to solve a problem is the person you have the problem with. It’s not talking with other people about it because they can’t do anything about it. So this is the first commitment to be trustworthy. And we pause and we ask our associates can you agree to that. And if so that’s a big deal. It starts establish a environment of trust that you can count on and how we’re we’re going to work together. Number two is a commitment to competency. In other words to being the best at what we do. That’s the commitment. We’re not going to be complacent. We’re going to work to learn what it takes to be the best at whatever our assignment is. And that is the effort that we will put forth. So it is a commitment to be among the very best at what we do. And so we pause and we say you’re willing to do that.

Yes this is what I’m willing to do is give it my very best and to keep learning to find ways to grow. And the third commitment may be one of the most difficult. And then we smile a little bit and we pause and then say and it has to be fun to work with. Now it’s easy to be fun to work with when everything’s going well. But what we’re talking about is especially when things heat up and we just agree we’re not going to yell at one another that we’re much more effective solving things together shoulder to shoulder putting our intellect and best imagination to innovate to find productive solutions then we are at each other’s throats. And so this is a commitment that we are going to be fun and pleasant to work with that we make an effort to be thoughtful in how we put forth issues that it makes it easier to work with one another. So these three things these commitments that we make the triad of the relationship has a powerful impact on successfully working together. And so as we discussed this on that particular day with my friend this person that I respect so much we decided that was a great way to proceed that this person would meet with each end of it. First of all the poison in the office was already gone. They let this person go. The person that was going to be the partner so that person’s out. Now you have the other employees the other associates and some of them are very high level people a high degree of competency.

So the plan was is to meet with each one personally to let them know that you’d like to visit with them and go over the vision for this office that we’re going to have so that it’s upbeat and it’s positive and we’re a place on the move. Remember those are the things the leaders do always always always we lead with the vision. It has to be inspiring and or else why would people come to work. I mean frankly Life is too short to not be excited about going to work and life is too short to be miserable. And so we want to have a place where people like to come to work. The vision helps us do that. And so the plan was to sit down say here’s where we’re going. And I would like to go over the triad of the relationship. This really sets a common set of norms for us and how we’re going to work together and we’re going to invite every employee here to make a commitment to these three things and if we do this we think will thrive that we’ll do a great job. And so that was the plan. That’s now a process that’s taking place. And everybody that can now you’re back on a positive starting note we have done this literally this triad with thousand of thousands of employees. What a difference it makes in unleashing potential and helping us get focused in the right areas. Well I hope that this is helpful today give you a few thoughts of how to strengthen your culture. And we wish you all the best wherever you are. You as a highly successful leader someone that’s really working on these principles become a light to everybody else and really are making a difference in the world.

This is Steve Shallenberger with becoming your best. Wishing you a great day.



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