3 Simple Beliefs that Foster a Positive Work CultureJan 28, 2024
What do you believe about your work as you begin a New Year?
Your work beliefs are the core values of “how” you work. They shape the culture regardless of whether they’re declared or not.
Culture is how you roll at work.
The good. The bad. And the ugly.
Your behavior—how you roll—at work reveals your beliefs.
Have you ever taken four minutes to write down your simple beliefs about work? Just to reflect on how they guide your actions?
They don’t have to be MBA-quality principles of complex theories.
Go for simple yet profound beliefs.
What are the essentials that drive a positive work culture for you generally and your behavior specifically?
Here are three of mine to get you started declaring your simple yet profound beliefs about work:
When my daughter ran distance races, she trained her body to build endurance by putting in the necessary miles daily. She also exercised her mind to learn course management.
She discovered in her first races that adrenaline would push her out hard and fast from the start and carry her for a while. If she kept up that pace, she often led, but when she approached the finish, she had no energy left and fell way back. The only result that counts is when you cross the finish line.
She discovered how to pace herself, starting strong, settling into a comfortable, economical pace, with enough reserve for a powerful finish kick. Such a pace allowed her to compete and win.
Your work has a pace. Adjusting your intensity to reflect it is a key to your positive work culture’s success.
You run sprints one way. Maybe that’s your Q4.
You run 5K’s an entirely different way. That might be your Q1.
The simple belief is that your work has a pace.
Train for it.
Balance People and Tasks
You can focus your work efforts on people—teams, vendors, and customers—and can lose sight of company goals.
You can focus on accomplishing tasks—your goals and action plan—and can forget that its people who accomplish those tasks.
To foster a positive work culture, you consistently balance these two realities.
When I was a child, my grandmother gave me a chocolate bunny every spring for Easter. Some years, I bit into it to find only air inside. Hollow.
Other years, it was marshmallow. Gooey and better.
However, my favorite years were those when I bit into it and discovered solid chocolate. Through and through!
Balancing people and tasks means you work consistently—through and through.
You lead people to accomplish tasks. You focus on tasks for people to achieve.
The simple belief is that your work can balance people and tasks.
How well do you balance people and tasks?
Find your center.
Beyond the Obvious
Maybe you’re staring at a P&L and balance sheet for last year about now. These are financial metrics for interpreting last year’s work.
What do you believe happened last year at work?
What other metrics shape your belief?
Some metrics for work lie just beyond the obvious.
A pair of sisters enjoyed shopping in a Goodwill shop in Virginia. One of them saw a pearl necklace, found it attractive, and since it was only $.69, bought it, believing it was just costume jewelry.
Wearing it back home in Arizona, a friend commented on how beautiful it was and encouraged her to get it appraised. She did and discovered that it was worth a little more than the $.69 purchase price.
Like $50,000 more.
As you look back on last year and forward into this year, the simple belief to consider is that work metrics include financial analysis, inventory reports, and such.
However, there is another reality that’s beyond the obvious. You lack the insight and intuition to quantify the totality of work.
The simple belief is that your work produces unexpected profits of all kinds.
What did your work produce last year that’s beyond the obvious?
Look for it.
Make an intellectual investment to adjust your business pace in this New Year. Claim the simple belief that it will pay off.
Make an emotionally intelligent investment to balance people and tasks with a through-and-through consistency. Trust the simple belief that it takes both for work to happen.
Make a soulful investment to look beyond the obvious when evaluating your work. Discover the simple belief of unimagined value.
Those are three of my simple beliefs about work that foster a positive culture.
What are yours?
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