“There are a few things to keep in mind when faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. We must try:
• To be objective • To control emotions and keep an even keel • To choose to see the good in a situation • To steady our nerves • To ignore what disturbs or limits others • To place things in perspective • To revert to the present moment • To focus on what can be controlled”
— The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
Scenario: You witness a situation at work and it is clearly evident that this will lead to a culture-killer for your company. What do you do?
Most people do one of 3 things:
1. DO NOTHING. Look the other way. Ignore what you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling.
2. JOIN IN. This is the mob mentality. “A riot is an ugly thing…I think it’s high time we have one!” (Young Frankenstein). This only fuels the fires of negativity.
3. PROMOTE, PRACTICE, and PROTECT the culture.
Easy. It’s just as easy to not act as it is to act. Just like losing weight or exercising or reading or being intentional in a relationship….it’s easy to do something and it’s not easy to do something
Fear. We fear taking a stand. We fear retribution from our peers (“who does he think he is?!”)
Deflection. “It’s not my job. I’m not a manager, VP, CEO…”
Since when is protecting our culture the sole responsibility of a supervisor?
Self-worth. “Who am I to say something/take a stand?”
Too many times, we don’t take a stand because of what we say to ourselves.
- “I’m just a line worker/entry-level accountant/etc. I have no authority.”
- “People will make fun or treat me differently. I don’t want to risk that.”
- “I’ve only been with the company for 6 months. I don’t know enough to speak up.”
- “I’m an idiot. I should shut up.”
Please realize that there are people who applied for your position and did not get it. YOU are in! YOU made it. YOU are worthy! Your company believes in YOU.
But in order for your company’s culture to grow and be cultivated, each team member has to make the right decision at those critical moments.
- And every time you and I stand up to PROMOTE, PRACTICE, AND PROTECT our culture, we build momentum.
- And when momentum builds, it becomes the norm.
- We raise our standards.
- We don’t settle.
- We refuse to live to the lowest common denominator.
- The culture becomes alive.
- WE become the culture.