One Question That Will Change Your Culture

The big buzz word lately is “culture”. Everyone is talking about how to create it, improve it, maintain it. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a challenge nonetheless. 

In a recent podcast, Andy Stanley shared how team culture is hugely impacted by leaders who leverage their authority for the benefit of those under their authority. Leaders face the temptation to make it all about themselves. To allow the power and status to inflate their egos. 

But those who resist that urge and consistently demonstrate that their leadership is not about their own position or advancement but about helping others achieve their goals—those are the folks with followers who will run through a wall for them. That’s a culture where people know their leader is in it for them, not not him/herself. 

Practically speaking, how can you resist this “all about me” temptation? Believe it or not, one single question can help. It’s one that my boss, Coquese Washington, has asked me on a number of occasions:

What can I do to help?

Seems simple, huh? From having been on the receiving end, it’s sure to catch your followers off guard! They will probably have to think a minute. Even if they don’t have an answer, just asking the question is huge.

It communicates that you are for your people. That it’s not about them being your servant. That you want to help them. Perhaps with something as simple as putting some notebooks together. Or maybe by going to bat for them as they seek a new opportunity.

As Stanley says, you’re essentially asking “how can I loan who I am or what I have for your benefit?” This is what great leaders do. They use their influence not for themselves, but for the betterment and benefit of others. 

Who will you pose this question to today?