We have had the great pleasure of spending a total of five full days recently with one of our new member agencies doing both strategic planning and sales training. I point out the two activities because the sessions gave us focused time with the leadership team and then with the sales team respectively, giving us different perspectives.


Respect

What is very apparent is the strong culture that exists in this agency. It is an organization where there is a great deal of respect. Everyone genuinely appreciates the contributions of others in the organization. They take what they do very seriously, but have fun doing it. As good as they are at what they do, they all want to get even better. The leadership has made the necessary investments and the sales team is very appreciative of what has been provided and have avoided an entitlement mentality.

Beyond the obvious upside of such a culture, I was struck by how much margin for error the leadership team has working for them.

When there is a high level of respect, nobody wants to let anyone else down. They become determined to perform at their highest level. You can ask for more and the team will ask “how much more?”

Trust

When there is a high level of trust, people don’t waste time asking “Why?” They know decisions are made for the right reasons. The reality is that the trust largely comes because the “why” is always made obvious. With this, leadership isn’t forced to look for the “safe” answer. The margin for error allows them to look for the “best” answer.

When you are having fun, you are always willing to do that little extra that makes the difference. It is that little extra that will almost always mitigate the perceived risks of trying something new.

Responsibility

When people appreciate what is provided for them, they take the responsibility to make sure it is protected. New investments are easy to make when you know they are appreciated and will be used effectively to generate a return.

When you have margin for error, you can just flat out take bigger chances. Bigger chances deliver bigger results. Bigger results benefit everyone. When everyone benefits, the culture gets stronger. When the culture gets stronger, the margin for error increases. When the margin for error increases…

 

Photo by Terry Johnston.