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Decoding Strategic Leadership – The Crucial Role Of Team Culture For A Successful Business

Written by: Danielle Levy, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Danielle Levy

Whether you have a team of two or 200, there is one thing that can ensure their individual satisfaction, productivity, and retention.


Group of people having a meeting

Before you think you’ve read a thousand articles like this before, I’m not talking about bonuses or pay incentives, promotions, or paid time off.

 

Don’t get me wrong. Your team deserves to be recognized for their hard work, and there are many ways to do that, but what I’m talking about is arguably more important than those financial incentives. After all, if you don’t have it, your team won’t stick around long enough for the promotions. They won’t want to work hard enough for the bonuses. They’ll take their paid time off and tread water until the next vacation.

 

So, let’s cut to the chase. The one thing you can do to create a happy and successful team is to…

 

Build a strong team culture.

 

But first, what is team culture?

 

Team culture is the collection of values, attitudes, and beliefs that make up a team’s dynamic. Think of it as how your team interacts with each other or their collective behaviors.

 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get clear on what your current team culture is like:

 

  • Do you value each team member's work?

  • Do they value each other’s contributions?

  • What is the turnover rate?

  • Is there a lot of gossip about team members?

  • Is the team overly competitive?

  • How do the team members treat each other?

  • How does the team handle setbacks and challenges?

  • What are the team-building activities?

  • Do individual team members appear more interested in their success within the business rather than the success of the business?

 

Ask yourself these things, and more importantly… start observing them among your team.

 

So, how do you create a great team culture?

 

Here is the hard truth.

 

You, as the CEO or business owner, are responsible for the team culture.

 

If you haven’t prioritized this aspect of your business in the past, that needs to change today.

 

Here are four steps I use with my clients to help them transform their team culture from forgotten to formidable.

 

1. Understand your values

 

Before you dig in on understanding your team culture, it’s imperative that you define and understand your company values. Values are crucial to the success of any business. You can read all about them here. Suffice it to say that operationalizing your values starts with understanding what they are.

 

2. Define your team culture

 

When you’re ready to move on, it’s time to define your team culture or the team culture you want to foster. There’s no right or wrong way to define it as long as it gets done. For example, you may decide to define it as “people first,” “inclusive” or “results-oriented.”

 

Instead, you may want to define it by more general characteristics, as seen in this article which included characteristics such as “caring,” “results,” “purpose,” learning, and safety.”

 

And yes, having more than one characteristic is ok, but also be aware that you don’t pick two competing purposes such as “people first” and “results drive.”


3. Communicate and connect

 

Like your company values, the team culture should be openly discussed. It comes down to communication and connection. It should be the attitude you feel in every work meeting, the interactions in every Slack communication or email, and the atmosphere of your in-person work environment, if you have one.

 

Many CEOS include a description of their values and team culture in the onboarding paperwork and sometimes even the job descriptions. The idea is to communicate it from the first point of contact.

 

Once your team is on board, keep those communication lines open! Especially if you’re working remotely, it can be a challenge getting the team together and excited. You probably have to get creative but don’t be afraid to have fun. Create a Slack channel where you take turns asking questions. Set up regular check-in meetings to make sure your team is doing well. Focus on connection.

 

If your team doesn’t feel connected, they won’t feel motivated. If they’re not motivated, they won’t be productive.

 

4. Lead by example

 

As the CEO, it’s up to you to lead by example.

 

I think we’ve all been in that toxic work environment where the CEO or supervisor disrespected team members, disregarded the dynamics of the team culture, and generally created a competitive, unhappy, and unhealthy environment.

 

You have more influence than you may know.

 

So, set an example for your team. Keep your finger on the pulse of the team culture. Be the leader that people feel comfortable sharing with. If you show team culture is a priority, it becomes a priority.

 

Ultimately, it all comes down to values and behaviors. Understand your values. Communicate them. Communicate the behaviors you expect to see, whether mutual respect, inclusion,


resilience, or something else. You have the ability to transform your business, the people, and even your operations when you create an effective work culture.

 

Dealing with a lot of turnover or team conflict and not sure how to resolve it? Uncertain whether it’s a team culture issue or something else? I highly recommend scheduling a discovery call with me to discuss your team dynamics. We can get to the bottom of the situation and determine whether you have a values problem, a team culture problem, or something else. Whatever it is, we can fix it together! Schedule time with me here.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Danielle Levy Brainz Magazine
 

Danielle Levy, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Danielle Levy is a sought-after business consultant who helps business owners expand with clarity and efficiency. Danielle is also the Founder and CEO of The Boardroom League™, a team of experts providing holistic business consulting and implementation services for entrepreneurs. She holds an MBA, is certified as a Project Management Professional, and is a FG Certified Master Marketer.


Danielle has 15 years of agency experience, helping her bring a unique perspective to all of her clients. A problem solver at heart, she believes in helping business owners go from Chief of Everything Officer to Chief Executive Officer, so they can focus on their vision, instead of being distracted by day-to-day business obligations. By establishing solid business foundations and implementing streamlined systems, Danielle's clients are not only able to regain their freedom but also rediscover the joy of running their businesses.


In 2021, Danielle founded The Boardroom League™ to guide executives turned business owners through current challenges and future advancements by providing bespoke business consulting and implementation. The Boardroom League takes a phased approach to business consulting, offering expertise in a variety of areas; including business leadership, financial guidance, legal advisory, marketing, and more.


In her personal life, Danielle is an energetic mother of two boys, who understands the balance of being both a hockey Mom AND a successful entrepreneur.

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