3 Keys to a Compelling Leadership Culture

Rock climbing is a sport I love but rarely have opportunity to do. Climbing is intricate. Proper holds, grip strength and a strong core determine your success. Most of these details are under the control of the climber.

As odd as it seems, climbing is not a solo sport. Each climber has to have a “belay” to help him or her get up the wall. The belay is the person who navigates the rope, serves as a safety in case of a fall, and helps the climber see from a different perspective.

A belay and a climber work as a team. Successful climbs depend on the trust of the team as much as the talent of the climber.

I recently read a book called Remarkable. In it, authors Randy Ross and David Salyers point out that all teams, even those existing outside of climbing, require the same levels of health and trust. The book introduces several concepts that can help anyone’s leadership. One such idea has to do with the relationship between team members. Another word for this: culture.

The following points are taken from page 24 of Remarkable. I’ve added a few thoughts of my own.

A compelling culture is created when people …

1. BELIEVE the Best IN Each Other

Genuine belief in another person empowers that person to believe in him or herself. Strong teams are confident in one another. If there is one person on your team whom no one can believe in, perhaps you have the wrong person on the team. If not one person on your team believes in one another, perhaps you have the wrong team.

2. WANT the Best FOR Each Other

Good leaders are good cheerleaders. Teams that thrive celebrate the success of team members. A good gauge of team health is listening to how individuals privately talk about the success of peers on their team. Egocentric leaders want to keep the success of others in check. One unchecked ego can ruin an entire team dynamic.

3. EXPECT the Best FROM Each Other

High-functioning teams are populated with high-functioning leaders. High standards create good culture. Never be afraid to set the bar extremely high for your team in areas like results, attitude and character. When others say your standards are too high, that’s when they are just high enough!

The secret to unlock these healthy desires among your team: TRUST.

Creators of thriving cultures are ambassadors of trust. They diligently search for it, violently fight for it and relentlessly guard it.

Ros and Salyers give a good parting thought on the necessity of trust:
Where trust is high, resistance is low. Therefore, change and progress come quickly. Conversely, where trust is low, resistance is high. Therefore, change and progress come slowly.

You are a leader. Your team needs you to lead. Be that leader they need. Lead your culture. Lead for health. Lead for trust. Lead bravely!

Kevin Lloyd is the executive pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia. This article was originally posted on Lloyd’s blog, LeadBravely.org.