5 for 5 blog – Will you stand?

16 Mar


Good morning everyone.

As a leader, especially one leading a big change or trying to establish a culture in a new organization, you need to be clear about your WHY. What are those things that you will absolutely stand for and not compromise on?

Another way to think about this idea is based on a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

On my team we constantly say that our WHY, our purpose, is to protect and enable our company first; our department comes second. We repeat it over and over in conversation saying “That was a great example of how we protect” or “Through these decisions we can enable additional actions.”

But taking a stand, putting your WHY out there, while being the right thing to do is not easy. It is likely that you will encounter other groups or individuals that should believe what you believe, but don’t. Especially in today’s performance management driven culture, it is not uncommon for teams and workers to adopt goals that either do not appear to align with yours or take actions that appear to fly in the face of the purpose you stand for.

Here are a few ideas I would share as encouragement as you find yourself or your team in those situations:

  • Constantly remind your team of your own WHY. Ideally the conflicting situations will be the exception as opposed to the rule. As one of the articles below mention, find every opportunity to recognize your team for living up to the WHY. Focusing on your own WHY helps to develop the team’s confidence as they come to critical decision points.
  • Difference in opinion does not always mean that others do not share the same value. We need to be able to see the requirements on other teams, and ideally be showing our appreciation for their challenges and ours we can collaborate on creative solutions. If our group believes in the company first, we need to embrace a larger view, than just our own departmental goals.
  • When you find those individuals that are truly out for themselves, by standing on purpose, their decisions will stand out like sore thumbs. While this may be easier said than done in some cases, it is important to bring your leadership and other groups leaders up on “WHY you do what you do”. As you present solutions or strategy, constantly frame the work in light of that purpose and create a stake in your leader’s mind that they may even use to measure others.

Good luck as you define your own purpose, your own WHY, and take a stand for these ideas. As mentioned before the clarity for your team will be a North Star for them in their own decision making.

Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 reading:

Spring Into Action: Catch Employees Doing ‘It’ Right – by Bruce Jones – via the Disney Institute


SO WHAT: Too often leaders focus on fixing errors instead of recognizing top effort, results, an attitude.

Tags: Leadership, Recognition


The Right Way to End a Meeting – by Paul Axtell – by Harvard Business Review


SO WHAT: Sound advice for all meeting leaders. If you want to ensure the actions assigned in the meeting are followed through on, read this.

Tags: Leadership, Productivity


Frame Your Design Challenge – by Ideo – via designkit.org


SO WHAT: Pair this with the previous post about ending a meeting…knowing how to set the scope for your design or project is critical.

Tags: Creativity


Lessons From Seasoned Leaders For Aspiring Ones – by Joel Peterson – via LinkedIn


SO WHAT: If there is one, undeniable trait among leaders…..it is resilience.

Tags: Leadership


Endlessly Distracted? Blame Your Own Creative Genius – by Shaunacy Ferro – via Fast Company


SO WHAT: I wish this was the only reason I get distracted, but at least good to know.

Tags: Creativity, Productivity


All the best, kevin