Monthly Archive for: ‘May, 2017’

Brand Culture Building Tip #2: Where’s the Harmony?

In business, I’ve been referred to as, “too kind”.  It’s always been by the opposite sex and I always chuckle.  The conversation always goes something like this:

“Katy, I just have to tell you, you are too kind in running this business. It’s gonna hurt you somewhere”.  To which, I always reply, “Thanks for looking out for me. I appreciate you. I don’t think I’m too kind.  What’s too kind, anyways?”

My response and inquiry always stops the conversation.  Why?  Because it is a stumper.  What does it really mean to be “too kind” in business?  It’s such a subjective and judgment filled answer.  Right?

In business, I’ve found our brands (we) show up in two ways: 1) either we don’t have well established boundaries and colleagues and clients just run right over us, leaving us angry and frustrated OR 2) we are very aggressive and competitive, leaving everyone around us angry and frustrated.  Neither one of these scenarios makes for a great brand.

So the tip for today is to develop a brand for yourself that has harmony.  What does that look like?  Harmony dictates your brand is comprised of kindness AND a good ability to set boundaries.  I call your boundary-setting ability your level of “confront”. 

Being kind does NOT mean being a push-over or sappy.  Being kind means having empathy and compassion for your direct reports, colleagues and superiors.

Having a high level of “confront” means holding firm to your ideals and beliefs and values while respecting others.  It means taking action when you must and backing off when you can.  What it does NOT mean is shoving your views down others’ throat nor treating them as you would not want to be treated.

This harmony will lead you to have a great brand AND lead to your team having a great starting point for brand culture development. 

Remember, everything we recommend here is simple, but not easy.  However, taking that first step is just choosing to see things differently for yourself and then for your team and organization. You can’t fail.

So stop and think to yourself, what is the first step you can take today to make this harmony happen?

Is That the Right Job?

I remember when I was a practicing securities lawyer.   For the most part, I often felt like I was in the right job. I didn’t hate my work nor the people I worked with. I got paid well for what I did.  Plus, my work was fairly routine and not terribly stressful.

So did that mean it was the right job for me?  Not necessarily given what I do now for a living is really the right business for me.

In organizations, leadership often looks at whether an employee is in the “right” or “wrong” position.  This isn’t always a full assessment of how to build a strong, profitable organization. The better inquiry is to ask whether an employee’s strengths are aligned with who they are in a particular position.

In my world of brand development and culture building in organizations, it is all about the people. The people drive revenues. If the employees are not engaged, then everything takes a hit.  Sometimes management denies this fact and looks the other way.  Sooner or later, if employees are not happy it impacts the organization.

In my opinion, the first thing that has to happen is that employees figure out who they really are- at work and at home.  This leads to a natural understanding of their strengths.  Once these strengths are deciphered, then we can look to see if the employee is in the right position. 

Instead what often happens is that organizations choose to focus on an employee’s weakness.  I say that’s a waste of time.  Why would I focus on your employee’s weakness instead of capitalizing on their strengths? After all, their strength makes them happier at work.  Happier employees are more engaged and lead to higher morale and productivity for any organization.

Oftentimes we find there is no “right” or “wrong” position for an employee, just a lack of understanding and cultivation of an employee’s true strengths and talents that would make them a great fit for their job.  These strengths are not necessarily tied to their linear, analytical mind.  These strengths are closely aligned with their personal story and upbringing and whether they are bringing their bad baggage to work with them everyday or not.

What does this mean for you?  Whether you’re looking for yourself or your employees,, stop and consider:

  • What are the strengths of an individual?  What are your strengths?
  • How can you capitalize on these strengths to impact engagement and cultivate a true culture that grows with ease and grace in any setting?

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.