Beyond Business As Usual : Do you have the Guts to Brand the Culture ?
Gutsy Leaders reject the mercenary notion that their employees are nothing more than human resources, akin to capital, fuel, oil, or machine tools that can be allocated or discarded at will. Instead, they see their people as individuals with unique gifts and talents, eager to realize their potential. Gutsy leaders aren’t afraid of being criticized or even mocked by their competitors. With bravery and vision, they dismantle fear-based management and replace it with heart, soul, discipline, loyalty, humor-and long-term profits.
Here are three ways that gutsy leaders blow the doors off business as usual:
1.Gutsy leaders brand their culture: A branded culture separates an organization from its competition. It attracts the “right” talent – people who are drawn to the culture as well as to the work. Since it establishes its own reputation, recruitment is easier because potential hires know more about the company than just what it produces. Companies with branded cultures-employers of choice –aren’t filled with merely “satisfied ”employees. Their employees are enthusiastic about the company. Are merely satisfied employees likely to go beyond what’s required to serve customers? Are they likely to strive to drive down costs without compromising quality, service or safety? Are they likely to be great ambassadors for your company and brand? The objective here is to create a culture that motivates people to become fully engaged in growing the business.
Dr. Jim Goodnight, co-founder and CEO of SAS Institute, the world leader in intelligence-software services, believes that the more you help employees focus on their work, the more amazing results they achieve for the organization.
Goodnight has built the largest private software company in the world, with 9,000 employees, offices in 53 countries, and revenues of more than $1Billion. The turnover at SAS has never exceeded 5 percent. The company estimates that it
saves between $60 million and $80 million annually by avoiding the costly headache of recruiting, training and assimilating new hires.
2.Gutsy leaders create a sense of ownership: Ownership recognizes that the organization’s experts are the people closet to the point of action, and trusts them to operate with the organization’s best interests in mind. The more people know about your business, the more they will care. Morale and productivity suffer. How can we expect people to think for themselves and build a profitable enterprise if they have no idea what goes into creating the bottom line?
If you want your people to think and act like owners, you must share financial information and explain what the numbers mean and how the information can be applied. Employees must know how economic value is created, how revenues and expenses translate into profit, how they create financial security for themselves and the organization, and what investors contribute and want in return.
3.Gutsy leaders lead with love: What does it take to be gutsy leader?What does it take to be gutsy leader? You have to be gutsy enough to stand up to those who stand in your way. You have to be big enough to admit your mistakes. You have to be vulnerable and say, “I don’t know.” You have to care enough to lead with love and trust rather than power and fear. You have to be humble enough to surround yourself with people smarter and more capable than you-and then have the faith to get out of their way. You have to be open and flexible enough to adjust to circumstances. You have to do what’s right, even when it’s not politically correct. You have to blow the doors off business-as –usual!
Ask yourself “If I were going to be brave today, what would I change if I walk beyond my fear of making a mistake, being rejected, looking foolish or being alone ?”
Action : Be Brave in making change.