Let me start by saying, I believe culture is a team sport. It’s a top down and a bottom up, conscientious effort to make things better. However, leadership is directly responsible for providing an example and accountability to the whole team.
If you have been given the chance to be a part of leadership, you have been given the chance to effect cultural change! Here are a few habits that will ensure you are setting a positive example for your team.
As a leader, you should never see your team as a resource to you, but instead see yourself a resource to the team. By showing the team that you can be there for another person, while still accomplishing your tasks, you prove it’s possible for them to do the same. When you are there for your team, when you care enough to ask if they need help, they will trust and follow you.
Don’t take your day too seriously, and don’t let anything stick with you for long. Life is too short, so smile! It’s crazy how often this part is overlooked as a leader. When your team sees that you are passionate about things, they too will be passionate. When you enjoy yourself at work, it’s contagious. Harvard Business Review calls this effect “social contagion”.
Be the Most Accountable
As the one who sets and enforces the rules, you must be the shining example of following them. Be the one who inspires the team with how hard you work, how punctual you are, and how you treat others. Every time you make an exception, you are setting an example that it’s okay to ignore policy. Most importantly, when you say you are going to do something, do it! All you have at the end of the day is your word, don’t lose trust in it.
This seems like a no brainer, but this piece is often missing. If you aren’t doing this in a genuine way, it will show. You have to take the time to get to know your team and to understand how they are motivated. Once you truly know who you are working with, that’s when the magic starts to happen. Take five minutes out of your day to get to know someone on a deeper level and it will return tenfold!
Define Work Life Balance
This is the part the team may look to you for the most guidance. As a leader, you must understand the importance of work life balance. Give yourself a chance to recharge, and encourage your team to do the same. When they realize that your care goes beyond the front doors, you become a family!
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Sean leads the People, Culture, and Partnership efforts at Ytel. After almost 5 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move into an internal recruiting role, where he could have more of a direct effect on growth and people’s lives That’s when he met Ytel and the rest is history. Sean is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on people and building relationships.