Leading With Honor
Most people who are familiar with my leadership style know that I am a big fan of business culture.
Whether it’s my own business or other organizations, I love the idea of culture and how different people are able to make the idea of culture their own. I truly believe that when this aspect of a business is properly prioritized, it creates a healthier company not only for the people within the business but also for clients as well.
A big part of these interactions have to do with the idea of honor, both in honoring your staff and the people you serve. The ways in which you honor others in the workplace will undoubtedly make up a big part of your company’s culture. Not only that, it will ensure that you are creating a culture of impact.
So what is a good measure of your culture’s impact? More importantly, how do you know when your culture is actually effective?
Many people assume it is done through a company’s leadership. But I believe that is only partially true. Yes, leaders should be intentional in setting the tone for corporate culture, but the effectiveness of that leadership and the actual permeation of the culture in the team is only truly shown when leadership is not present. How does your team talk about the company when they aren’t at work? Do they feel honored, respected, and valued?
If they do, then chances are you will have a lot of satisfied employees, not to mention much more satisfied customers.
One organization I have always admired for the way they honor both their employees and customers is Chick-fil-A. My friend David Farmer has been with Chick-fil-A for nearly 30 years and describes this idea of honor in their corporate culture as cultural intelligence. As a form of emotional intelligence, this idea is taught to Chick-fil-A’s employees in order to read a situation and respond in an appropriate way. Rather than giving them cookie-cutter answers or guidelines to use in handling a difficult situation, they train their people to respect and honor their customers with authentic care.
Overall, the things we honor will be celebrated most within our organization. It could be anything from money to time to public affirmation. While none of these things are inherently bad, they begin to change the way we honor others if they are our main priority. Once we begin to value connection and the people that make our company great, we will be on our way to creating a culture that is unique, impactful, and successful.
For more on this topic, including my full conversation with David Farmer, check out the Created For Experience podcast – Leading With Honor.