Friday, June 1, 2012

Magnetic Culture

Kevin Sheridan in Building a Magnetic Culture cites the example of Minneapolis city workers who are engaged and passionate about keeping the city clean. He claims that engagement is not the sole responsibility of the employer but is shared with the employee. He recommends starting with teaching people about engagement.

Rather than spending time teaching people about engagement, show them what it looks like. Be an engaged manager or leader. Find out what's important to your staff then they'll want to know what's important to you and the organization as a whole. You can spend time teaching them about the factors of engagement and assessing their current levels, or you can just do it.

There's a story about a famous preacher who met with a couple of seminary students. When asked how he's such a renowned preacher, he replied, "I just preach. I'll be teaching at your school. I expect then someone will tell me what I'm doing."

There are people who do and people who teach. Teaching is important, but sometimes you just have to do without taking the time to tell people what you're going to do. Read the book. Learn what factors are important to create a magnetic culture. And then do it. If you're a good leader, they'll follow. I've worked with companies who attract their own new employees because their current employees were so excited to be a part of the organization. If you're not a good leader, then you need an engagement program. It will fail though, with all due respect to Mr. Sheridan's advice. Programs rarely get you where you want to go.

Be a good leader and build a magnetic culture with your own two hands.

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