If you have been looking for a job in the past few years, the term “culture fit” probably came up in your search. Whether it was expressed by an interviewer or discussed by an individual at a particular firm, it seems that everyone is finally grasping the importance of matching people to cultures of organizations.
What’s the big deal about “culture fit”? When leaders land in workplaces that are consistent with their values and vision, they are more likely to contribute in meaningful ways. Being part of a community where we feel we belong and is representative of what we stand for will usually lead to greater success and longevity.
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I’m a big believer in visuals and images. When leaders make commitments to themselves and their teams about the importance of strong leadership, words may not be enough. Although words can be a good way to begin a conversation or reflection about leadership, words don’t always display your entire leadership story. For example, if one of your critical leadership values is “building relationships”, it may be unclear what that means. But what if you constructed a bridge connecting team members or drew a picture of people connected to a web of yarn? Might that visual help you clarify and describe more completely how relationships are built?
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I just returned from a wonderful vacation in the northwest of the U.S. and Canada. That part of the world possesses incredible natural beauty and laid-back charm. Very different from the hustle and bustle of the northeast U.S. where I spend most of my professional and personal life. Many leaders know intuitively that they get refreshed when they take breaks but another really exciting phenomenon takes place when we step away from our routines.
We are able to view and think about our work worlds from a new perspective.
We are able to view our typical workload through a new lens.
We become empowered to lead with fresh eyes
Leadership is comprised of an abundance of imperfection. We work in imperfect environments with imperfect choices. Our team members and colleagues are imperfect human beings. Our bosses and their bosses are imperfect leaders attempting to set agendas and direction that for sure are imperfect. We tackle our assignments and projects utilizing imperfect data and information. To all this imperfection, add our personal lives and relationships. And yes, those are definitely imperfect too.
So why do we work so diligently to achieve perfection? Really, why do we even have the word “perfect” in our vocabulary?
According to the dictionary, “perfect” is defined as:
- being entirely without fault or defect
Walking into the celebration this weekend brought back a whirlwind of memories and emotions. From the smell of the hallways to the loud voices of the hundreds of people there to say goodbye to our executive director, I felt home again. By far, this was my most meaningful volunteer experience of my career- president of this temple. And although I offered countless hours working with gifted volunteers and professional staff, what I learned and what I gained from this role was beyond measure. This extraordinary opportunity added critical skills to my leadership toolbox enhancing the way l lead today.
How did volunteering grow my leadership?
What leadership skills can we build