It seems everyone is talking about how to create dynamic business cultures - me included. While doing a Webinar recently on indifference and how “I don’t care” thinking can slow a company down, I substituted the term “business culture” with “business attitude.” Wham, the light bulbs not only turned on, they threw out some major wattage. Clearly, you understand the consequences of having employees with bad attitudes spewing toxic waste inside your company. But while you’re fighting in the leadership trenches, it’s easy to miss the bigger picture of what happens when customers encounter the “attitude” of your company.
Replacing the term “culture” with “attitude” simplifies the understanding of company behaviors. To understand culture, you must delve into the collective behavior of groups of people and organizations. To understand attitude, all you need to do is look at the faces and behaviors of those you work with. More importantly, don’t forget the face you see in the mirror. Engaging, inspiring and optimistic leaders lead engaging, inspiring and optimistic teams - and that’s the attitude your customers encounter. Grumpy leaders lead grumpy teams - and THAT’S the attitude your customers encounter. It’s that simple.
Consider the following strategies to help your company maintain and project the right attitude:
- How do you show up? A company’s attitude is a reflection of its leader. Consider how a company in the most dire of situations can change so dramatically when its leader steps up and leads the way to success. Sometimes a new leader needs to take control when the current leader is stuck and frustrated. Do you show up to win or do you show up defeated? Do you show up positive and encouraging or do you show up negative and combative? If you’re blaming your employees’ lackluster performance, you’re blaming others for what you create.
- Is your company caught up in its own hype? It’s so easy for a company to buy into its own “we’re the best” hype. You’re only the best when your customers and marketplace say you’re the best. You’re only the best when your competitors are all scrambling to figure out how you do what do - and can’t duplicate it. Companies that “pretend” to be the best perform like skyrockets; they shoot up high where everyone can see them - then explode.
- What’s your team think? Schedule a roundtable meeting with employees from different areas of company to get their viewpoint on the company’s attitude. Create a safe and open atmosphere for open dialog. Keep the conversation centered on describing and defining the company’s “attitude.” Listen. Really listen. Schedule a meeting for the following day to develop strategies to address attitude issues that are holding the company back. Set deadlines, responsibilities and check points before ending the meeting.
- What do your customers think? If you’re really ready to pull back the curtain and confront your company’s attitude demons, hold a customer focus group. Invite six to 12 customers to share their thoughts about your company’s attitude. Again, the conversation is very different when it’s focused on attitude versus culture.
It’s all about creating that collective attitude for success and banishing the attitudes that attract defeat.
Pass this blog post on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.
Founder & CEO
About: Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies. Since 1993, Strategies has been transforming salon and spa businesses into dynamic, profitable, and sustainable team-based cultures. Neil is a business trainer, coach, keynote speaker and award-winning author. For more information on Neil and Strategies, go to www.strategies.com. You can email Neil at [email protected].