Wing Nuts and Cultural Contribution

Abundance Be Abundant

FlipboardTwitterLinkedInFacebook

Key Point: “You’re a bunch of extraordinary leaders and wing nuts.” That was the comment from a leader in the community I was having breakfast with the other day. She was commenting on the success we’ve had growing a phenomenal culture at ATB Financial. Her view is that members of the senior leadership were individually a bit odd; certainly the CEO and me, if not the rest. I took that as a compliment. It got me thinking about the paradox of being alike, yet different.

Wharton’s top leadership thinker, and best selling author, Adam Grant, notes the following:

Hiring like-minded employees can be unifying and motivating for a startup powered by the momentum of its first, disruptive idea. But a growing body of evidence questions that approach for scaling companies, says Grant. ‘Culture fit’ becomes a proxy for non-boat-rockers whom everyone likes, and feels comfortable around. That way, stagnation lies. Grant prefers ‘cultural contribution.’ ‘Instead of asking, ‘does this person fit our culture?’’ he says, ‘We should be asking, ‘What is missing from our culture, and is this person going to enrich it?’”

I agree with Professor Grant. We do need boat-rockers and people that make us think differently. In my view, I want people to be alike on core values like self-accountability, respect and abundance. However, I also want people who challenge the heck of out of me and others. I consider myself to be a respectful challenger, and yes, a bit of a wing nut. And I hope that makes all of us better.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. When you add to your team or organization, give more serious consideration to cultural contribution. What’s missing? How might this next person enrich it? Consciously seek out the diversity they might bring.
  2. Celebrate your constructive wing nuts. You might even be one.

Wing Nuts in Personal Leadership,

Lorne  

One Millennial View: I’ve certainly heard the theory that commonly makes its way into informal conversation: “There’s something a little ‘off’ about CEOs, political leaders, etc.” Some people suspect Elon Musk isn’t even from this planet. Personally, I do not view this as a negative adjective or descriptor. Various cynics even like to attribute high levels of success to stages of narcissism and autism. Who knows? There might be pieces of truth in all of that. But as Millennials, why would we say this? To me, it sounds like an excuse. Is it because we have big hills to climb and it’s easier to preemptively decide we can’t than put in the work (and possibly fail)? We can seemingly comment “#Goals” when we see a desirable achievement on Instagram, but then what? Rationalize that they must be a psycho for putting too much effort into work, appearance, relationships, etc? I sure hope I can rock the boat by being a wing nut, and I care way more for that idea than joining any like-minded group that cares not to try. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Culture Cast: Analyzing the Current State of Recognition, Acknowledgment and the Reward System

Personal leadership Podcast

FlipboardTwitterLinkedInFacebook

Hey Culture Cast fans! On Season 2, Episode 6, Lorne and Lynette discuss and analyze recognition, acknowledgment and the reward system. It’s not just about “what you did,” it’s about “how you did it.” Join the discussion about the value of giving and receiving genuine recognition from you, your peers and employees.

Please listen on Soundcloud and iTunes, and don’t forget to rate and review.

If listeners have any questions or thoughts, feel free to email the podcast at CultureCastPodcast@gmail.com. As you can see, we’ve started a Q/A series that will be posted every other Wednesday, and will likely be addressed in future podcasts as well. Please feel free to contribute. 

Also, please follow the podcast @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter, and advance the conversation.

Culture Cast: Analyzing Communication Systems

Abundance Accountability Be Abundant Be Accountable Be Respectful Personal leadership Podcast

FlipboardTwitterLinkedInFacebook

Hey Culture Cast Fans! In Season 2, Episode 5, Lorne and Lynette discuss communication systems, and much more. 

Please listen on Soundcloud and iTunes, and don’t forget to rate and review.

If listeners have any questions or thoughts, feel free to email the podcast at CultureCastPodcast@gmail.com.

Also, please follow the podcast @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter, and advance the conversation.

I Want to ‘DWD’ You!

Abundance

FlipboardTwitterLinkedInFacebook

Key Point: Being abundant through appreciating and recognizing other people is so gratifying. We are all rich and our “giving checking account” is flush, when it comes to acknowledging others. The beauty is that this personal bank account for giving and sharing our caring observations is infinite. We are all recognition “billionaires.” Even better, giving recognition is scalable and we never have to worry about getting “appreciation fatigue.” Genuinely recognizing others is an energy booster.

I’m not sharing anything new with this blog. You already know this. I’ve written about it many times. My sole purpose with this post is to encourage each of us to examine how we’re currently doing in this regard, and to take some action today. However, no guilt trip is intended, just a nudge. (I need a self prompt too).

When we think about it, there are so many people that we can acknowledge. This has nothing to do with whether people deserve it, have earned it, receive too much or too little. This is much less a statement about the people we are recognizing than the self-awareness to observe that people do something every day to make our lives better. And we owe it to ourselves and others to SEE these people. One way to confirm our sight is to sincerely let others know. Acknowledging others in a fully abundant way does NOT include “matching,” expected reciprocation, or anything else. A true gift of appreciation comes with NO strings attached. None. Zippo. It is not dependent on anything other than the idea that you and I simply and purely want to acknowledge. It is all about taking action on something we see as the right thing to do. We are the sole determiner of who, what and how. We are simply the givers.

For more than 40 years, I’ve been sending out DWD’s (Darn Well Dones). It’s not my idea. I heard about someone doing this and shamelessly applied the practice. I used to even have a “DWD” stamp that I put on hand written cards. For the last few years it’s been mostly digital. People have come up to me years later with a crumpled DWD card in their wallet or purse. We ALL want to be seen and appreciated for our contributions. It’s not that we need it in an unhealthy way, but we do in our simple human desire to be loved.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Before the day is out, find some way to recognize, appreciate, and acknowledge someone. Sincerely tell them what they do to make your life better. It may be the everyday smile they give you in the morning, and/or something with more heft.
  2. And DWD to all of you for reading this blog, encouraging Garrett and me to keep writing, and telling us we have somehow connected with you, often just when you need a little extra juice for your day.

DWD in Personal Leadership,

P.S. if everyone reading acknowledges someone today, we will have embraced more than 5,000 people. Imagine if we could keep the chain going. We could literally change the world.

– Lorne

One Millennial View: For better or worse, there’s reportedly a biological and scientific reason a “like” on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) is desired by us humans. Apparently, it delivers dopamine to our brains. It doesn’t take much to click a “like” button, but a DWD… That kicks it up a notch. So, it’s no surprise people keep DWD’s crumpled into their wallets as keepsakes. They are a harder earned “like.” 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Loving Limitations!

Abundance

FlipboardTwitterLinkedInFacebook

Key Point: I’ve always asked people who worked for me to do more than the resources available seem to support. Why? I believe constraints are helpful because they allow us to prioritize, make choices, and be resourceful. Limitations can inspire creativity and build enormous character. You discover that some people focus on the limitations and spend their time explaining why they “can’t.” Others, (those whom I’m most attracted to, frankly), LEARN to think “yes” first and just “find a way.” This is abundant thinking and behavior.

A Beautiful Constraint,” the thought provoking book by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden, uses research and social science to discuss the approach to constraints. They talk about how the relationship between ambition and constraints is clear. The conclusion: Those who refused to scale back ambition in the face of constraint were more likely to find the constraint “beautiful,” (and vice versa). I find, perhaps counterintuitively, that it is very liberating to realistically understand limitations AND inspirational to declare great ambition in spite of them.

Perhaps rather than labeling people relative to their ability to navigate constraints, it would be more helpful to consider ALL of us traveling through three stages. If we recognize constraint management as a process, we can move more effectively through each stage. If we are in the VICTIM stage, we may feel stuck and choose to lower ambition. If we can get to the NEUTRAL stage, we will choose to embrace the constraints and refuse to lower our sights. However, if we can evolve to the TRANSFORMER stage, the mind focuses on finding a way to make constraints an opportunity and even raise ambition.

The little bank I work for has all the constraints to feel like we should sit in the victim stage. The multi-national banks are much bigger, with way more scale and resources. We are chartered to work in one small province in western Canada. Fintechs are faster. It is hard to compete for digital talent, etc. Perhaps, what I love most working for CEO Dave Mowat and my leadership colleagues, is the belief that all of these constraints are truly beautiful paths to reinventing banking; to do it better than ANY financial institution in the world. And this is exactly the path we are on. We have exploded out our ambition. The belief and culture in this stage is so friggin’ exhilarating!

Personal Leadership Moves:

1. Believe transformers are made NOT born and know you are one!
2. Embrace constraints, be realistic and then engage everyone in asking, “how might we?” Think BIG. Increase ambitions by harnessing and riding those constraints to the highest peaks.
3. Be an abundant thinker and doer. Act as an abundance generator. Expand everywhere and give more to all stakeholders. It is the “little engine that could” that becomes a “rocket ship that will.”

Loving limitations in Personal Leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Facing constraints and puzzle-solving your way through and above them, arguably leads to some of the most satisfying results life can give us. Let’s look at a hypothetical New Years Eve as an example. Many Millennials dread NYE because it’s stressful, expensive, and takes more effort than usual. So, let’s pretend pricey NYE event tickets are out of question: A victim might say, “I’m just going to sit home and watch TV because NYE sucks and everything is too much of a hassle.” The Transformer may say, “I too am staying home, but I’m going to take the time to organize a modest dinner party with good friends, create an itinerary, plan food and beverages, and we’ll make the most out of it.” Come midnight, the same countdown will be airing on both the victim and transformer’s TVs. Which NYE would you choose to partake in?

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Also: If readers have any Personal Leadership questions for Lorne Rubis that they would like to be answered via text on an upcoming blog, and/or addressed on a future episode of the Culture Cast podcast, please email them to the CultureCastPodcast@gmail.com. Or DM them to @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter.