Imagine for a second that your boss is miles away from the day-to-day. A sufferer of Corner Office Syndrome, he or she continues to make command decisions without consulting the team. The decisions are astounding to you and you start to question these far-off choices.
Now, your attention isn’t on doing the right thing for the business, but on how to stop the wrong thing your boss has put in play. You have two options. You could bite your lip and go with the flow; Or, try to address this head-on, which is no easy feat.
It could be too big of a risk to put your livelihood at stake. Your mind drifts again—pondering if this company is the right place for you. You wonder why you care so much. The easy thing to do would be to care less.
This inner conversation happens to many of us. When it does, you are officially not a believer anymore. You are transgressing into a fake believer.
When you lose belief, or don’t have something to believe in, it’s easy to fake believe.
But as Navy SEALs Jocko Willink & Leif Babin remind us in their book, “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead & Win,” “They must believe in the cause for which they are fighting, they must believe in the plan they are asked to execute, and most important, they must believe in and trust the leader they are asked to follow.”
Building a cultural rocket ship is more rocket art than rocket science.
If you’re responsible for hiring talent in your company, then you already know it comes down to creating, retaining and sustaining internal believers.
Because believers aren’t just wanted—they are needed in order to create the necessary conviction that makes your organization thrive.
Consider these questions for a second: Do you often feel like you are on an island alone in your company? Do you have coworkers you can genuinely trust? Do you feel you’re being sucked into corporate politics? Are you in a Watch-Your-Back Culture or a Got-Your-Back Culture?
These are the questions that need to be openly talked about with your teams. And these are the types of conversations that are welcomed by true leaders.
This might be a good time to share a truth. I have a major gripe with the word leadership. Make no mistake that I believe we are in dire need of courageous leaders. However, I’ve seen too many poor leaders turn leadership into cheerleadership.
Poor leaders start rah-rah’ing to their employees, which may work with some of your workforce, but your elite producers can see right through it. Internal discord starts the minute you send staff down inside themselves questioning, wondering, and calling out a faulty decision.
Management guru Ken Blanchard is spot on when he writes, “It takes a whole team of people to create a great company, but just one lousy leader to take the whole business down the pan.”
I’m sure you noticed the world choice. The clear mission of leadership is to transform into the company’s Believership. The Believership’s job is to create believers in all directions: making believers out of your employees, your prospects, your customers and, when appropriate, your board.
One final reason I like calling it a “Believership” is because successful leading is not simply about one person. There’s a checks-and-balances system working together at the top—if you’re lucky, that group shares values and brings breadth of experience to the table. Courage and business are both team games.
Having an aligned Believership makes it easy for employees to believe. They set the vision for the company, deliver the truth (no matter how hard the circumstance) and create trust—the most essential ingredient—that unlocks a successful team.