When our kids were young I was often reminded of the old adage “children act like their parents — despite all attempts to teach them good manners.” When one of our kids did something I wasn’t especially pleased with, I found myself asking “where did you learn that?” When I stood back and I reflect on it, I can start to see where that behavior came from. Their mother!
Well, maybe not. When I was honest and took a longer look in the leadership mirror, I saw that I modelled some of that behavior. But it is often tough to recognize our own behavior being reflected back to us through the people we lead. Now that our kids are starting their own families it will be fascinating to see behaviors cascading further.
In our work with culture development we can see a variation of leadership modelling; people in organizations act like their leader — despite all attempts to train them otherwise. An organization’s culture ripples out from the team leading it. Many leadership teams don’t recognize their own behavior reflected back to them in their culture.
In my blog, “Is Your Leadership Team Slipping into These Traps?“, I outlined seven common traps snaring many teams. Priority overload, unaligned change programs, leadership lip service, not building capacity for change, poorly run meetings, conflicting messages, and lack of follow up are typical culture shortfalls that start at the top.
We’ve just developed a brief assessment to help leadership teams look in the mirror. Click on Seven Leadership Team Failure Factors to take the 14-item assessment. You can complete the assessment and compare your total score with our scoring guide. We also provide you with links to leadership team development resources.
An even more powerful approach is to have your leadership team complete the assessment and compare your scores.
A culture can’t exceed its leadership team. The team sets the pace and direction by their own behavior. What the team does overshadows what its leaders are saying. What example is your team providing?