October 7, 2016

Leading Through Crisis Part 4: Creating A Winning Culture

The final piece of creating the culture of openness and honesty you desire requires learning how to shift from playing defense to offense after a crisis has occurred. You have the right team in place, you have the problem solving strategies, and now it’s time to build the bridge from damage control to crisis resolution.

Every great leader experiences some form of failure, but the best are those who rise from the ashes, better than before. We don’t panic and lose focus in the crisis, we address it and move on. It’s not the crisis that defines us, but the journey still ahead. In many ways, as leaders we live in the now and the not yet. People are looking to us for immediate solutions and for future vision. How well do we balance the two perspectives? No one respects a leader with a grandiose plan and no practical steps to move toward it, right? 

This week we will take a look at how to shift our energies and focus from problem solving to building a winning culture for the future. Now the question you all are wondering: How do we do this?

Refuse to settle into autopilot.

Test outcomes and make ways to consistently improve. As a company and as leaders, we hope to always improve or grow. Even our moments of crisis can be blessings in disguise; reminders that keep us awake and reacting to the game of life. Autopilot is dangerous because it tempts us to fall asleep at the wheel when we should be testing outcomes and taking the temperature of our teams. In the beginning stages of a crisis, a leader assumes the role of a paramedic, reacting to emergencies, stabilizing the immediate well-being of the company, and stopping up any of the places where there is injury or loss.

As the crisis meets its natural end and the days of trauma are over, and the leader assumes a role more similar to a physician, addressing the long-term needs of the company, and checking in to ensure whether his care is having positive outcomes. Even if you are “out of the woods” so to speak, this is no time to fall asleep at the wheel. Continue testing outcomes. Are current processes in place working? Is there something better or more efficient we could do to prevent the crisis we found ourselves in the first time?

Get uncomfortable and innovative.

Good companies exist for the sake of the product or service. The best companies exist to put themselves out of business, because their real trade is innovation. They exist for a purpose outside of themselves, and they are ready to sacrifice their own well-being for the betterment of those they serve. They aren’t afraid of change, they want it, at nearly any cost. This means keeping a pulse on what’s happening within company culture, inviting new ideas to come from some of your best minds and daring to take care of the whole person instead of just the “employee.” Increasingly, companies are reaping the value of this kind of leadership philosophy, and its creating big wins for them. People feel cared for so they invest deeper into their work. They are loyal to produce excellence because they’ve been treated with excellence. It’s a fairly simple idea but it’s amazing how few are applying it.

Coachwell is prepared to assist your innovation by helping you invest in your most valuable asset – your staff. Our cloud-based application, CoachwellPro combined with our training is a powerful solution to move your people to the next level of effectiveness and productivity. Contact us today for a no-obligation demo or trial to see how this powerful tool can assist your organization.

Assume the offensive position.
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, when you get permission to focus on winning again. This is the final lesson, when you are released to dream new dreams for you company, and are no longer hindered by what’s behind you, though you’ve carried some important lessons from it. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive and courageous to turn former challenges into advantages. You have permission to define the future. Gather your best talent and build a strategic plan with clear objectives, owners and actions that defines your new direction. Go and do that without feeling hindered by your mistakes, or limited by your past as a leader or company.

The world is waiting for you!

To your excellence in creating a culture that wins,
Coach Greg