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I was listening to a book on cd in my car and the author was speaking about a study showing that children were influenced to a greater degree by their environment than their home. In simple terms this study proposed that the greater amount of influence was due to the amount of time spent at school and in their cultural environment versus the amount of time spent in their home environment.
This got me thinking about leaders and the influence that work culture has on us and our teams. The average person spends 8.8 hours each day at work which means that a typical work week is about 44 hours for the average Joe. At this rate we can pretty accurately assume that at minimum your team mates are spending almost 1/3 of their time in the office – take out the time they sleep and that ratio goes up even higher. Suffice it to say that if the previously mentioned study on time and influence is applicable in the work setting, your work culture could highly influence both yourself and the members of your team.
That said it makes sense for leaders to examine corporate culture and invest time and resources into promoting the type of culture that not only adds value to the organization but employees as well. There are plenty of articles about the benefits of corporate culture on profitability and employee satisfaction, but I challenge you to think about the type of influence your corporate culture has on character development of your employees. Promoting company values is great, but does your organization promote character values such as integrity, honesty and ethicality? If not, are there things you can do to change that within your organization?
In order to help you start to think about values that are important to you and could be important to your team check out this exercise. As leaders I hope we all aspire to lend our influence to the betterment of society in general not just our companies.
Please share your thoughts on this topic with me and any other resources that would assist in the pursuit of value definition - I would love to hear from you!