In my ongoing multiple series of blogs, I’ve described the importance of developing leaders in your organization, with the goal of reaching Level 5 leadership.
However, there’s an important distinction between Level 5 leadership and a Level 5 culture. Just because you have a corps of strong individual leaders, it does not mean that they are going to automatically create a Level 5 culture.
The reality is more complicated because there can be real tension among even the best leaders. Great leaders don’t always perform well in teams, despite possessing all of the qualities and characteristics associated with dedicated, focused leadership.
A leader may be dynamic, energetic, and overachieving. But two or more leaders may not focus that energy in the same direction. One of the biggest challenges to teams is establishing cooperation among leaders, which is essential to harnessing their collective energy and talent, for the good of the organization.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of building high performing teams if you’re going to grow your organization into a Level 5 culture.
Teamwork and cooperation don’t come naturally; we have to work at it. Think about that. As kids, what was one of the first things our parents tried to teach us? They taught us to cooperate with others, to share, to play nice. Just as leaders are made rather than born, cultures of excellence where strong teamwork exists are also made, not born. Creating this “we” culture is one of the critical tasks great leaders have to learn to nurture in a very deliberate way.
Good leaders are ambitious, energetic and caring. But, in order to become great leaders, they need to exemplify the qualities of persistence and humility in the board room so others want to do the same. Level 5 cultures consist of people sincerely focused on the good of the organization (the team) above their personal benefit. They understand and accept the fact that the organization’s success will, in many ways, create their own sense of well-being and success.
This blog is based on material from my book “We’re All In.” You can get a copy of the first chapter for free here.
If you’d like a full copy of the entire book, you can get it here.
Enjoy the journey!
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