“The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you. That is a big lesson. I cannot just expect the organization to improve if I don’t improve myself and lift the organization, because that distance is a constant.” —Indra Nooyi
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Building a great organization is about leadership. And, leadership is about you. As Indra Nooyi tells us in the above quote,” If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself…” So, where should you start?
Get clear on your values
Building a great organization requires leaders and employees to embody shared values. Before you can build a culture on shared values, you better get clear on your values as a leader. What’s important to you? Why does it matter? Once you have identified the values that you are truly committed to, you can start developing a culture around those values and building a great organization.
Get your ego in check
If you want to build a great organization, get your ego in check. Leadership is not about your personal glory. It’s about achieving shared success. So, stop taking all the credit and start empowering and recognizing your employees and their contributions instead. When your employees know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated, they will give 110% towards making your organization great. So, stop thinking it’s all about you and make sure your employees know that it’s about them.
Ask the right questions
If you want a great organization you must start asking the right questions. You don’t have all the answers; you need to tap into the knowledge and experience of your employees. You must build trusting relationships where they feel comfortable giving you honest answers. A company of ‘yes’ men will never reach greatness. If you don’t ask the question, what might you miss? Your employees are your greatest asset. Make sure you are asking for their input.
Build your perseverance muscles
To build a great organization you, as a leader, must build your perseverance muscles. You must learn hang on tight while you struggle to find solutions to overcoming the obstacles you will inevitably encounter. Building a great organization requires the relentless, sustained, and passionate pursuit of long-term goals. There will be frustration, confusion, and some failures. But, you must keep the big picture in mind. Remember that there are always several paths to reaching the same goal so remain flexible and persevere even when times get tough.
Become part of an extraordinary team
Building a great organization requires you, as a leader, to become part of an extraordinary team. You can’t do it alone, and you can’t do it by surrounding yourself with those who are content to be average. Create an extraordinary team. Surround yourself with those who are smarter and more talented than you. Don’t feel threatened; feel excited about the limitless possibilities.
It Starts with You
What separates a great organization from an average one? It all starts with you. Get clear on your values, check your ego at the door, start asking the right questions, build your perseverance muscles, and create an extraordinary team to surround yourself with. Focus on how you can improve yourself and you will pull your organization up with you.
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.