Most kids learn about climates in grade school which is defined as the overall weather patterns of an area. They also learn about microclimates; the climate of a small or restricted area that differs from the surrounding area.
Microclimates are everywhere. Think how different the weather and environment are in a valley with a river vs the mountain top that is next to it. Microclimates can also be as close as your backyard. Our backyard is open and grassy, while our neighbors have a large coverage of trees and vines.
While your company sets your overall culture, values, and climate, you are in full control of the climate and culture of your team. That’s the reason multi-site organizations see inconsistency in aligned culture from one location to another. No matter how hard you push the big culture, it will always fall on the local team leader whether that will standard and philosophy will become reality or something else entirely.
Here are some tips to help you have a happy, healthy, and productive micro-climate of culture right where you are.
Look past the swirl
The swirl of the day can easily derail and ruin your day. While the swirl of the day and the larger storms of life can leave you feeling helpless, you have more power than you may realize in those moments. Here are a couple of ways that we feed the daily swirl and larger storms in our life.
- We feed the storm with our fear, pride, and permission. Life happens and sometimes it’s downright tough to make it to the end of the day. We add fuel to the swirls and storms of life by leading with our pride, fear and by giving the situation permission to control our lives. Turn your focus outwards to remember your purpose, your people, and your passion. It will help guide you through the distractions and challenges that threaten your culture.
- We let the swirl influence our actions. The swirl of the day can more influential than we give it credit for. How much you let it drive your day determines how much it influences your decision-making. You’ve probably seen or experienced someone make poor judgment calls while they were under pressure in some way and it seldom ends well. Recognize when it happens and take a moment to pause and take back control of the moment.
The swirls and storms can devastate your team’s climate and culture.
Shed the facade
Authenticity is a must to build a quality culture with your team. As a leader in the social media age, it’s important to understand that all that you do can be scrutinized by others. That doesn’t mean you have to worry about every single thing you do and walk on eggshells your whole life. It does however empathize the importance of being authentic in your daily life and leadership walk.
Be true to others and lead yourself well by:
- Leading yourself with excellence
- Lead yourself and others with integrity
- Hold yourself and the team accountable
- Lead at your level. Let go of things you used to do in a prior role in order to be efficient in your current role.
- Share your feelings with others.
Open yourself up to others. People aren’t interested in the false front that you’ve got everything figured out. They want to that you understand your flaws, that you feel the same things that they do, and that you can rise to the challenges that the team faces.
Embrace trust and transparency
The foundation of any great culture is trust. Your team has to trust that what you stand on is truth and not simply words to say without meaning. This is often the point of misalignment between a larger organizational culture and a small local one. The members of the small team may feel like the large values don’t apply to tot them or, even worse, they haven’t seen their leader live out the company’s values in their daily work.
Build strong culture by being honest and building trust with your team (Ep 323: Building trust with a new team) Starting here helps people feel safe to connect with each other. Lead with humility (EP 162: Holding unto Humility) to help others see how they lead themselves. Led them with Heart by leaning into your calling and purpose (EP 161: Are you following your Calling?)
Put Heart, Humility, and Honesty together to build a strong foundation for your team’s culture to thrive.
Through all my travels in coaching and leading others, there is one saying that comes up in nearly every area that I’ve been to. It goes something along the lines of, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change.” Follow the tips above so your team’s culture (and climate) isn’t constantly changing and is one where they feel empowered, valued, and want to stick around.
Make a better tomorrow.