If it’s true that, as a leader, you get the culture you deserve… then what if your culture is toxic and cancerous? What if you have Workplace culture misfits? Do you deserve that as well?
Let me start off by explaining that when I say ‘you get the culture you deserve’, what I mean is that the culture that evolves around you is the result of careful planning, recruiting, hiring, on boarding, development, love (or lack thereof) and constant attention. And if you, as the leader, do not take any aspect of your culture seriously, it will evolve based on the cast of characters you have on the team.
If one of those ‘characters’ is a values misfit, arrogant, not a team player, a bully or a social outcast, and it will impact your culture. And just like a cancer that attacks the body, unless there is outside intervention in the form of treatment, the body’s energy reserves will be tapped out and the cancer will win.
When workplace cultural misfits are introduced into the team, despite having an impeccable résumé, education and even referrals, the seeds for cancer have been introduced.
I was once doing a turn around in an organization where four of the leaders had, on paper, everything one would want to take the business to meteoric heights: intelligence (they had Mensa or Genius IQ’s and PhD’s). The first thing I noticed with the group was that they spent all their time trying to prove that each was smarter than the other. Then, like predators, three of them turned on the weaker of the four and caused her to have a nervous breakdown. Next, two of them turned on the third. At this point, I had a mass firing. The problem is, I was about two months too late in having the terminations. The ‘culture cancers’ had in a very short time, alienated virtually the entire organization to the point where team work and collaboration between each other was nonexistent. Individual team members were all out for themselves and it showed in falling revenue, productivity, customer satisfaction and rising costs.
As a leader, your most important job is to build a great culture. Your business is only as good or can only move as fast, as the worst behaviour you are willing to tolerate.
The term ‘hire slow and fire fast’ has never been truer in business today. When you hire, it should be the most laborious and detailed task you take on. Ensuring every step of the way that you have a values and culture fit.
When you have cancers or workplace culture misfits, fire fast. Even if the person has rock star credentials, immediately invoke a generous severance package, lick your wounds and move on. Your team, your customers, and your business will flourish because of your care and attention to the culture.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
The audio version of Bob’s #1 best seller It’s Already Inside is now available on Audible.Business, Business Culture, Corporate Culture, Employee Engagement, Hiring, It's Already Inside, Leader, Leadership, Management, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Team