This will be quite the post – are you ready?
In companies nationally, we are brought in to help with brand issues – some include communication between people and departments, culture issues, transparency and integrity. What we find is astounding and always the same – bad apples leave rotten seeds. What does that mean?
Innovation is found in environments where there is trust, positive energy, and transparent communication. (Think Nike) Innovation and companies are killed by fear, distrust and lack of integrity. One bad apple can kill corporations, group, boards, schools, associations and organizations – how?
Take for instance Dave Cooper – a legendary NAVY Seal and part of Team SIX – think Bin Laden raid. In the book the Culture Code, Dave is quoted and shares his story for success among teams…He says, “When we talk about courage, we think it’s going against an enemy with a machine gun…The real courage is seeing the truth and speaking the truth to each other. People never want to be the person who says, ‘Wait a second, what’s really going on here?’ But inside the squadron, that is the culture, and that’s why we’re successful.”
Being able to address real issues, the one or two or three bad apples in an organization are the keys to success…teams are lost when one or two people decide to destroy culture by any means. When the bad apples are not discussed transparently, the entire organization will fail.
- Being an energy vampire – someone who simply chooses to be negative and to gossip. (Read the book Energy Bus – if you’re on a team, this is a non-negotiable).
- Creating an environment of the ‘power play.’ The idea that they get what they want at any cost to the group.
- This kills those who would like to be innovative – someone with a new idea who gets shut down by the ‘power play’ will not feel safe to try again and it signals to the rest of the teams they aren’t allowed to either.
- Gossip. This one hurts – who hasn’t gossiped, right? What we all need to remember is brands of integrity always win. No lies, no gossip, no scheming - just truth and transparency. When you have integrity, you have nothing to fear. You can be asked into any meeting or enter any situation without fear of being discovered. Those that lie, and scheme, eventually fall and bring down those around them and the companies they work for.
How to fix this? Transparency and sometimes, painful candor. Let’s look at Pixar – they have methods of assessing and improving movies by what they call BrainTrust Meetings. The meetings bring people together for what some say looks like a ‘painful medical procedure’ designed to analyze flaws in detail. They ask questions together – “Where did we fail? What did each of us do, and why did we do it? What will we do differently next time?” Raw and painful to be sure – hopeful? Yes! Why? Vulnerability and trust building happens when truth is spoken in a safe environment.
Where is the hope? Hope is knowing we have all fallen. Today you have another chance to be the best you were created to be. Start today to build a brand where integrity is one of your foundational brand words. Those who lie crush others, kill innovation and become a bad apple that leaves rotten seeds around their communities, homes and offices. You were created for more – don’t let your talents and gifts be destroyed because of your fear and lack of integrity.
Resources to learn more:
The Culture Code – Daniel Coyle
The Power of Positive Leadership – Jon Gordon
Any John Maxwell leadership book – I suggest reading about the five levels of leadership
MODA Image and Brand Consulting is the only company in the United States that is able to integrate corporate brand, personal brand, leadership, marketing, sales, image, internal and external communication, non-verbal communication, emotional intelligence, brand storytelling, the ‘why’ exercises, professional etiquette, executive presence and fashion into training seminars and 1:1 executive coaching that benefit both the company and its employees.
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