People, in any setting, will naturally follow those that are in charge. This is very easy to see in group settings where you can easily tell who is in charge by where all eyes fall. If you look at a playground full of kids you can find that one kid who leads all the other kids into doing what they want to do. There is a natural tendency to these kinds of behavior, we follow people we believe who know what they are doing. But what about the things we tell ourselves? Do we follow them just as easily? Even more so because if we can not trust ourselves on what we say to ourselves then who can we trust?
The role of yourself over who you are is the same as a CEO over their company. The body is the company and the employees are the body parts of the head, which is the CEO; anytime a boss explains what it would like to do the rest of the body makes it happen. The same idea applies when people say something about how they feel the body follows through on that thought. How many times have you heard yourself say, “I’m so tired,” and then start to feel tired again. The same goes for those that say they are sick and then start to feel sick. Every time a negative thought comes out, whether it’s true or not, affects the performance of the body.
Creating a Healthy Company Culture
It’s common for the CEO of any company to always be the first one at any meeting and watch the rest of the staff slowly come in. A CEO that says, “I understand it’s hard to get here on some days so just do the best you can,” is playing along the lines of trying to be their friend but also trying to set some rules. The same thing is true when we try to tell ourselves, you did the best you can and that’s good enough so don’t beat yourself up over it.
We know that if we put the time and effort into something without making excuses then we can accomplish quite a bit of stuff that might even surprise us. A CEO who comes in and makes the following statement, “I understand getting to work can be hard on somedays but I do want to make one thing clear, everyone is to be on time at this weekly meeting which is part of your job so if you are not able to follow the responsibilities asked of you then you need to let me know right away so we can fix that otherwise I expect to see everyone here on time every week with no excuses.” This CEO has set the expectations of what he wants his staff to do. This is the same as someone telling their body that they will get up at 6 am to run and that is that. We all know CEO’s who run efficient companies because they come in prepared and ready to do work. But if you had the chance to ask any one of those CEO’s what they would like to be doing instead they would gladly tell you that they would rather be in bed sleeping, enjoying a nice long breakfast but instead they get up and move with the same energy that a productive person has in life.
So how do you start to change that lazy or tired attitude into something that will move your company forward? You have to start with yourself and listen to what it is you are saying to yourself to see what you are feeding the rest of your body and in this case, your company’s culture.
“I don’t have time right now”
This is a very popular phrase that people enjoy using, just for the sake of getting out of doing things when people ask them or they don’t want to make the effort of changing their schedule around. This is probably the most toxic of all phrase because these kinds of people get very little done in life which is surprising considering that they “don’t have time for anything.” So if they don’t have time for anything then what are they doing that is so much more important? Good luck trying to get the honest answer for that.
A CEO has lots on their plate for running a successful business. They need to make sure their product or service is running like it is supposed to, they need to check their cash-flow number, talk with new clients, investors, and attend meetings. CEO’s always have time for people who make their time worthwhile and if it is the case that their schedule is actually full, they will make the time if they see something with potential. The same goes for meetings, if a staff member brings up a new idea and the CEO says something like, “we don’t have time for that right now,” it gives the impression that he is not open to ideas, but a phrase like, “if you can send me an example of your idea, I’ll be sure to take a look at it later.” The second phrase encourages his staff to bring ideas to him but the first one creates an environment that this company is only for the CEO’s ideas. He has taken the idea of saying, “I don’t have time for that” and turned it into, “I have time for ideas that make sense.”
It’s important to catch yourself whenever you say this phrase and realize what opportunities you might be blocking out. You also need to be aware of how it affects people’s behavior around you. No one likes being around someone who never has time for anything and so they slowly start, without even realizing it, phasing themselves out of social events that are important to know about. This is common for people with families who are always rushing to get home after work and not realizing all the important “after-work” meetings that are taking place or the networking events that are elevating other people’s careers. The trade-offs are hard to look at but these situations happen all the time so it’s important to create the impression that you always want to know what is going on around you but also to be honest with yourself about how busy you really are.
“It’s impossible, that will never work.”
If you have ever worked with people who look at everything in absolute terms then you know that they are very difficult to work with because they never want to try anything. They will look at the costs first and say it is too expensive so it can never be done then if you say not to worry about the cost they look for another fault, not enough materials to build it. Then when you finally show that everything is possible they will add in another excuse, who is going to do all the hard work. People like this should not really have jobs because they contribute nothing but pain and suffering because they just like to create more problems without creating any solutions in return. Their main purpose is to get out of doing more work.
This a common occurrence that many people impose on themselves when running into any challenge. A perfect example of this is when a friend offers to start a garden in their backyard but the friend listening starts listing all the problems with that idea, it will be hot outside, the dirt will need to be dug up, there are no supplies to till the soil, and they don’t have any seeds. A positive person would look at the project and say, my friend has gardening tools so I will call him and ask if I can borrow them and then we can pick up some seeds on the way and spend the afternoon seeing if the soil will be easy enough to work with.
A CEO who is receptive to ideas and encourages action lets people come to them all the time with how to do things better or suggest a product idea. Startups have this open door policy because they know that their employees are their best resource to get ideas from. A company that has been operating for awhile might start to have a plan in place that funnels ideas towards one person and if that person has a very “it’s impossible” mindset then majority of everything sent their way will be shot down. So just like yourself, don’t give yourself excuses just because you don’t want to try, give it a shot and see what happens. How you react to something shows people how you handle change.
It’s important to be aware of what comes out of your mouth. If you only have a stomach ache and you know you only have a stomach ache then don’t make yourself any worse by saying, “I’m really sick,” because your body will start to feel and act that way. Productive CEO’s don’t get sick that often and work longer hours but that is because they always carry with them a positive mindset in an environment that has risk all around. If you want employees to enjoy the place where they work talk more with them and using a positive style of talking. A CEO who ignores people who try to talk with them end up creating a company culture where ideas are not accepting. People will start to feel like they are not welcomed or appreciated. The same can be of yourself, if you want to stop being sick all the time then start getting out more and exercising even if you think something feels bad, just moving about helps get you going.