As you may remember in my last post we discussed the importance of vision and culture to a Biblical Leader and all leaders. Although many leaders struggle with vision they understand what it is. They may struggle with putting their dreams on paper and making them real to their team, but they know about vision. I’m not sure that’s the case with culture and therefore I want to drill down deeper searching for clear revelation for us all.
So … what is culture? Based on my recent studies (“Transformation of the Spiritual and Natural Mind” by Jim &Faith Chosa) and past experience, I believe there are four major elements to culture. And they are:
- Human identity
Hunan Identity: How does the culture in your company shape or influence the identity of your team members? I believe that our identity is tied up in who we are and what we do. As I discussed a couple of weeks ago (Who are you and Why are you here?), who you are is tied to your relationship with Christ. However many people, believers and non-believers alike, default to what they do (consultant, plumber, lawyer, etc.) as a definition of who they are. As a Christian business owner you have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the definition your team members have of themselves. How is that possible you rightly ask … When your culture includes values like transparency, self-improvement, and openness based on the Word of God your team will have the opportunity to become more confident, committed and conscientious.
Here’s how that works; when they have a great understanding of where the company is going and what you are accomplishing in the marketplace and they know how their contribution moves the team and the company towards that objective and they have access to tools for improving their performance , then the right people will respond. Not only will they respond to the challenges put before them but they will gain positive experiences that improve their confidence, commitment and increase their self-esteem. Are you getting his? You do have an impact on their identity!
Values, Beliefs & Behavior: These three things are built upon the foundation of personal identity. The dictionary says that value is “relative worth, merit or importance.” Values are the things that we hold dear. The concepts and people (like family) that are important to us. Let me give you a simple example of how this operates in us; if you place a high value on serving other people, then you will probably believe that customer service is important in the work that you do. If customer service is important to you as a consumer then in your job your behavior will demonstrate that belief in the way you serve people. In your company your people’s values, drive their beliefs and their beliefs drive their behavior. And you can have an impact on that behavior with the kind of culture that you create and the team members that you attract with the use of that culture in the hiring process.
What you need to understand about culture is that it should be a statement or a reflection of your values. These are the values that you operate by whether you are at your business or not. Get this part right in your business and you will have a great foundation upon which to build the rest of your organization.