Culture is about understanding one self
Contrary to the popular belief that business culture is about how you treat your employees (team for more enlightened ones), I feel that business culture is more about understanding yourself first.
What drives you? Is it profit, service, a better product or even a better society? What makes you alive? What makes even an introvert keep on going once that subject starts?
This has a deep relationship with what culture you will allow in your leadership or even as a junior member of a team. Most of the time we get governed by the environment in which we operate. We are influenced by what is happening around us, and sooner than later we start mirroring those traits. We justify those actions by saying that everyone is doing the same here. Unfortunately, that is not the way to bring positive change to the organisation where we work.
I will mostly focus on the leader's understanding of the need of understanding oneself. What are we, all of us? For the majority of us - "I am a collection of my thoughts and beliefs. These thoughts and beliefs are born out of my experiences. I am what I experience. I am what I choose to focus on."
Here we come back to Focus. The world has every type of action going around all the time. What we focus on becomes visible. Others we can’t even literally, see. If we are full of positivity, the focus is on – What drives us! What we can do? How can we achieve what we want?
But more important than these questions are the understanding – Why do we want this? Till the why is clear and it is a why that you cannot live without, a shift in organisational culture remains more an exercise to be completed on paper than reality. If the why is a personal achievement, it may not attract the team. But if the why relates to the team, to the society, to the country or even to humanity, there will be more people to join you, support you and push you to achieve whatever it is.
Subconscious to the entrepreneur’s mind lies the need of society for a specific product or service that she alone can fulfil. This pushes her to take the unknown path where nothing is visible except her determination to fulfil that need. Consciously it might be her personal desire of having abundance, freedom and a lifestyle envied by others. But sooner this merges with the specific society needs. When these two combine, growth takes place. A personal need gets aligned with society’s needs and then you realize that you cannot take people for granted. A mental shift comes in and the path starts becoming clearer. This is how we start knowing ourselves and start growing. This is how our team becomes as valuable as ourselves. This is how you start caring for your team. This is how sometimes temporarily; the team becomes more important than the end.
So, the obvious question is – how do we understand ourselves?
The answer is simple and complex at the same time. We start observing our thoughts and actions without justifying them. We ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing. We don’t rationalize or justify them. We seek our why and we observe things. Self will start transforming without any external support or effort. You realize whether these thoughts and actions are better for everyone in the long run or not! You also realize if you are taking these actions out of fear or out of love. When we take decisions out of love, the outcomes are growth-oriented, while the decision taken out of fear limits us.
When you understand yourself well, the culture that you build will not be selfish. It will get into an auto-correcting path, which will be visible to everyone including your team and everyone will support you. Know Thyself or Understanding the Self has been the directive of all old scriptures of various civilizations. Let us take back our focus to the roots and let the tree grow on its own. Of course, we keep the tree clean as well.
Let us focus on #makingworkplaceshappier.
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