Culture might be the business buzzword of recent years.
It’s not a new concept, but it certainly seems to be in vogue to design, discuss, and debate your company or corporate culture. So it’s no surprise that these conversations are spreading to our personal lives, and now, we’re spending more time talking about the cultures of our churches, schools, and even our families. Obviously, culture in these environments is not more important than it used to be, but it is certainly getting more attention.
Even before culture conversations were as prevalent, this concept was discussed using other terms. You might recall people talking about thermostats and thermometers. People shape environments, so we were told that each of us can either be a thermometer or a thermostat. The thermometers read the temperature of the room and react to it, and the thermostats set the temperature. As leaders, we need to know and respond to these two types of people on our teams. I’ll use these terms to describe them—culture carriers and culture creators.
Culture carriers are the people in your organization that embrace its values and live them out in their daily work and interactions. Once culture has been established, these are the culture ambassadors. They carry both the good and the bad, so it’s important to invest in them, spend time with them, acknowledge what they are doing. When they’re spreading positive things, we need consciously encourage more of it. Whether you’re in a corporate or cause-driven environment, these are the people that live out the brand and the mission of your company.
Culture creators are the people that set the temperature—positive or negative—in the room. They are not just simply an embodiment of what they see. Instead, they are powerful forces that shape the culture of your organization. People observe them, see what they do, and respond to the way they act. If you have a negative culture creator on your team, get rid of them immediately. But if you have a positive culture creator, you’ve struck gold. Figure out how to keep this person, engage this person, and encourage this person as they lead and influence the culture of your team.
We all have culture carriers and culture creators on every team. Identify them, and respond to these people in a way that promotes the kind of culture you’re working to achieve.
We all have culture carriers and culture creators on every team. Identify them, and respond to these people in a way that promotes the kind of culture you’re working to achieve. @KevinPaulScott
Acknowledge your culture carriers. Recognize the ways they’ve embraced your organization, and celebrate their excitement for what you’re all working together to accomplish.
Pinpoint your positive culture creators. Celebrate their leadership, and come alongside them as they breathe life into your team’s culture.
I have a new book out called The Lens of Leadership. It’s all about perspective because I believe the way we view things changes how we do things.