Tag Archives | Behaviors

Behaviors desired in the corporate culture. Valued behaviors are those that are observable and measurable demonstrations of desired values.

Culture Leadership Charge: Do more GOOD

CLC-YT-SCE-mugWelcome to my new video series called “Culture Leadership Charge.”

In these short (less-than-three-minute) segments, I present proven culture leadership practices that can boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams.

The “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction.

You don’t have to be a formal leader to apply these practices – everyone is a culture leader (for better or worse)!

Today’s charge is titled “You’ll do more GOOD if you aim to SERVE more than you aim to PLEASE.”

It is difficult to please everyone – and that’s not the leader’s job. The leader must clarify the organization’s present day servant purpose, specify values and behaviors to ensure cooperation and team work, and hold everyone accountable for both values and results.

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Watch the video segment below to learn more.

Photo © Chris Edmonds – iStock. All rights reserved.

How well to leaders and team members serve each other in your organization? What is the cost you’ve experienced when leaders try to please everyone? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


YT_subscribeDon’t miss a single video segment in Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series or any of his video clips. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on Libsyn or subscribe via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes or subscribe via iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Heads or tails? Three keys to better decision-making

Tossing Euro coin, heads or tails you decideHow good a decision-maker are you? Every day, you make decisions that impact your quality of life, your well-being, your effectiveness, your relationships, and more.

What influences our decision making approach? Some humans make decisions based on logic and analysis (Carl Jung’s “thinking” preference of personality) while others make decisions based on feelings and the impact on significant others (Jung’s “feeling” preference).

Humans vary in the pace of their decisions. Some are very fast – they “pull the trigger” on decisions quickly – while others make decisions “at a snail’s pace.” Some humans prefer to engage in discussion with others before coming to a decision while others prefer making decisions independently.

Circumstances impact our decision-making approach. We might take more time and engage others more if we’re making a decision when things are going well. Under pressure, we may change our decision-making approach entirely.

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Let me share a decision I made awhile back. In college in the early ’70’s, my car was my Mom’s old station wagon. It was not a cool car by any stretch of the imagination. It was reliable, steady, and boring. When the head gasket blew, requiring expensive repairs, I made a decision: I’m going to sell it and buy a sports car.

I made a feeling-based decision, because the facts should have caused me to walk away from that sports car. It was older than my station wagon. The side windows didn’t roll up because the mechanisms were broken. The heater didn’t work. The driver’s seat had been replaced by a much taller seat that put my head at eye level of the top of the windshield – I had to duck to see out the front.

I ignored all of those realities. I loved the way that car looked, the way the engine sounded, and the way it handled. So, I bought it.

It was not a good decision. It cost me time and money to make it safe and reliable. I was glad to get rid of it in my senior year.

I’ve made a number of good – and bad – decisions over the years. I’ve learned that leaving decisions to chance does not increase the effectiveness of those decisions.

To make better decisions, consider three ideas: benefit, values, and impact.

Benefit – Who will benefit? If you win and others lose, that won’t increase trust, respect, and cooperation in your workplace, family, or community. Find solutions that help everyone move forward – towards contribution and results, civility and sanity, and cooperation.

Values – Is the decision aligned with your values? By formalizing your servant purpose (who you serve on this planet and to what end) and your values (the principles you live by), you can assess your decisions based on those values. If a decision requires you to go against your commitments or to violate your integrity, that’s not a decision you should embrace.

Impact – Conduct an “after action review.” How did your decision impact those on your team or family or community? Was it fair to all those impacted by the decision? Engage all those impacted to learn their perceptions. Refine future decisions based on what you learn – to ensure only positive impact.

Would these three ideas improve the quality of your decisions? How do you ensure that your decisions are fair, beneficial, aligned with your values, and generate positive impact? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © fotofabrika – Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


YT_subscribeDon’t miss a single video segment in Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series or any of his video clips. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on Libsyn or subscribe via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes or subscribe via iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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What dysfunctional bands teach us about work culture

AdobeStock_48903240Is one of your favorite bands dysfunctional?

Most bands are dysfunctional to some degree; many to a great degree. The pressures of writing, recording, touring, performing, doing interviews, being away from family and home 24/7 – without a break? That’d bring out the worst in any human.

The list of bands that have experienced meltdowns or breakups is long, including the Beatles, the Temptations, the Eagles, Journey, Arrested Development, Guns ‘N Roses, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Supremes, Aerosmith, Blink-182, Destiny’s Child, and many more.

As a working musician, I’ve seen “band members behaving badly” up close and personal. All organizations, including bands, experience a day-to-day work culture that either operates well or poorly in helping that organization succeed while retaining inspired, talented players.

What gets in the way of band and workplace harmony?

There are three primary drivers of dysfunctional behavior in groups: ego, validation, and demands.

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Egos run amok erode trust, respect, and healthy relationships. Ego drives selfish pride and arrogance. Ego causes people to say great things about themselves and mean things about others. It causes players to take credit for others work. It causes players to exclude others and only include people that support their huge egos.

Incivility is entirely too common in our workplaces around the globe. Researcher Christine Porath found that 98 percent of employees have experienced uncivil treatment at work.

Validation is a basic human need. We want to know we’re contributing to something meaningful. We want to feel strongly valued – yet only 21 percent of employees do feel strongly valued at work (TinyPulse).

If we get the validation we seek, we are more likely to proactively solve problems, to validate others through praise and encouragement, and to invest in cooperative teamwork. If we don’t get the validation we seek, we withhold information, we set up others to fail, we take credit and give blame.

Demands in a band grow exponentially with the band’s success. Most musicians didn’t get into music to be famous or wealthy. Most musicians are inspired by the art, the communication of ideas, the feeling of inspiring others through music.

The demands that touring, performing, etc. place on band members are incredibly stressful. We face similar demands at work – long hours, increasing workload, covering for someone who has not done a job well (or at all), working hard while being paid less than others in similar roles, etc. These demands sap our spirit, our energy, and our ability to respond “at our best.”

If we learn anything from these dysfunctional bands, it’s that we must be intentional about how we want people to behave – how we want people to treat each other – at work.

A powerful, positive, productive culture – in a band or at work – doesn’t happen by default. Leaders must specify how people are expected to treat each other – by outlining behaviors that will maintain civil relationships day to day.

In our Denver-based band, we have an organizational constitution that describes how every band member is expected to behave. Our expectations include things like being prepared, skilled in our instrumental and vocal parts so we perform effectively together. Loading gear in our trailer, unloading on site, setting up the stage (PA, lighting, effects, etc.). Tearing down the stage after the show requires everyone’s attention, even after 12 hour days . . . all while being kind and graceful with our bandmates.

With such specific behavioral expectations, we all know what’s required of us – and we proactively model those behaviors. When a bandmate doesn’t behave according to expectations, we can inquire what’s going on and re-direct where needed.

Workplace leaders must do the same thing: be very specific about the behaviors they wish people to demonstrate to ensure trustful, respectful treatment in every interaction. Once those expectations are formalized, it’s easy for everyone to embrace those behaviors – and be kind, validate others, and give credit where its due.

Gather talented, engaged players. Honor their efforts. Challenge them to perform together. Don’t let them carry any burdens with anyone. Praise and encourage ideas, efforts, and accomplishment.

You just might make beautiful music together!

How well does your work team manage egos, validation needs, and demands? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © beeboys – Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


YT_subscribeDon’t miss a single video segment in Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series or any of his video clips. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on Libsyn or subscribe via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes or subscribe via iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Four bad workplace behaviors you need to stop tolerating now

Boss yelling at his employees at a briefingIn the middle of a busy afternoon, two senior leaders engaged in a screaming match in the office.

They cursed and yelled at each other in full view of 30 employees.

Their behavior was disrespectful and appalling. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing to watch.

I asked the company president about the argument. He said, “I know. It happens all the time.” I asked, “Why do you tolerate that bad behavior?” He replied, “I told them to stop.”

I stated the obvious: “Telling them to stop has not caused them to stop. You’re tolerating incivility and disrespect, which erodes performance, engagement, and service.” The president knew all that. He was frustrated and didn’t know how to make his senior leaders behave.

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Bad behavior in our workplaces is all too common. Workplace civility expert Christine Porath has found that 98 percent of employees she has interviewed over the past twenty years have experienced uncivil behavior at work. In 2011, half of respondents said they were treated badly at least once a week.

You get what you tolerate. If you enable bad behavior – by ignoring it, by demanding it stop then doing nothing when it continues, by modeling bad behavior yourself at times, etc. – bad behavior occurs more frequently.

If you demand civility – ensuring everyone is treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction – civil behavior occurs more frequently.

Here are the “top four” bad workplace behaviors that you need to quash, right now. They are listed from the “somewhat benign” to the “most damning.”

Demeaning, Discounting, and Dismissing – The three “D’s” happen so often and so casually at work, it seems like they’re not that big of a problem. However, the three “D’s” are gateway behaviors to much worse (as we’ll see in a moment). This combination has no beneficial impact on the players, the work, or the business. The three “D’s” are always used to “prove” that the deliverer is smarter, better, more capable, etc. then the receiver. In positive workplaces, ideas can be debated loudly and assertively AND people are treated civilly and kindly, no matter what.

Lying – This one is often known as “lying, cheating, stealing.” What happens when people lie, when they take credit for others’ work, when they say they’re done but haven’t started, when they “bend the rules” to accommodate their desires? They get found out – their lie is exposed to the light of day. Lying to protect a colleague is still lying. Telling an untruth – no matter how small – erodes confidence and performance.

Tantrums – Now we’re getting to mad skills, meaning “one is highly skilled at demonstrating one’s anger!” Throwing a hissy fit is selfish and self-serving. It makes the issue all about the tantrum-thrower rather than about root cause: missed promises or lies or a lack of skills, etc. Yelling, cursing, throwing things, slamming doors – we’ve seen it all. These actions mask the underlying problem(s). If left unaddressed, everyone who works with the tantrum-thrower is forced to accommodate the brute’s whims, walking on eggshells every day.

Bullying – this is by far the most harmful of bad workplace behaviors. The Workplace Bullying Institute defines bullying as abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, and humiliating. Their 2014 study found that 27 percent of American workers have current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work. 72 percent are aware of workplace bullying. The most troublesome finding? 72 percent of employers deny, discount, rationalize or defend bullying. Bullying in any form destroys workplace trust, respect, and dignity.

These four bad behaviors ruin any chance of a positive, productive culture. Don’t tolerate them – quash them.

Which of these bad behaviors is present in your workplace? How have leaders addressed them? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © berc – Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


YT_subscribeDon’t miss a single video segment in Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series or any of his video clips. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on Libsyn or subscribe via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes or subscribe via iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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What’s Your Organization’s Values Operating System?

Trust Concept in BusinessWhat values does your organization hold dear?

Every organization has values, just as every human has values. Some organizations have values that encourage an “I win, you lose” dynamic. Some embrace a “service to others” environment. Some emphasize “results, results, results” while others embrace a family and teamwork dynamic.

We see a wide range of values demonstrated in organizations, large and small, around the globe. Values are the foundation of an organization’s culture – for better or worse.

The challenge is that most leaders – senior executives, directors, small business owners, team leaders, regional heads, etc. – do not pay attention to the health and quality of their organization’s culture.

They’ve never been asked to do that. They may not know how. The vital metrics that leaders are typically held accountable for are performance metrics. It is rare for leaders to be held accountable for the quality of their work environment or for happy, engaged employees.

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Yet where employees are happy – treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction – productivity grows.

For example, Parnassus Investments’ Workplace Fund – a mutual fund that invests in large American firms with outstanding workplace cultures – outperformed the S&P Index during the recent global recession with a 10.81% return compared to the S&P’s 3.97% return!

Focusing exclusively on results or profits can be a slippery slope, as Volkswagen and Turing Pharmaceuticals discovered last year. What is fascinating is that both of these organizations have published formalized values. Volkswagen’s values specifically note “environmental protection.” Turing Pharmaceuticals’ code of conduct specifically notes “treating each other and customers and patients with the respect they deserve.”

In Volkswagen’s case, the behavior of engineers to install software to cheat on emissions testing is clearly in violation of their values. In Turing Pharmaceuticals’ case, the code of conduct document is dated January 27, 2016. I cannot find references to a code of conduct in the company previous to that date. It seems that last year’s pricing debacle prompted the creation of this code.

The absence of formalized values in an organization – or the absence of accountability for published values – can be interpreted to mean that any path – including lying, cheating, or stealing – is OK.

You don’t “assume” that everyone in your organization knows their performance standards and delivers them without any discussions, do you? Performance clarity and accountability requires formalized goals and targets, with dashboards and metrics monitored closely, every day.

You must not “assume” that everyone in your organization knows how you want them to treat other people at work, either. Values clarity and accountability requires formalized values and behaviors, with interaction quality monitored closely, every day.

To ensure citizenship is as important as performance, you need a values operating system – a VOS – in the form of an organizational constitution that is lived and demonstrated by everyone in your organization daily.

An organizational constitution is a formal statement of your company’s present day service purpose, values and behaviors, strategies, and goals. This statement defines what contributions are needed and what citizenship is needed from every player, every day.

Most organizations have strategies and goals defined; these represent your company’s performance standards and expectations. Very few have values defined in observable, tangible, measurable terms – which is the only way you can build a values operating system in your organization.

Crafting and communicating your VOS – through your organizational constitution – is the easy part. The more complex part is aligning all plans, decisions, and actions to your VOS.

When employees are treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction, they’ll treat your customers like gold. They’ll proactively solve problems. They’ll demonstrate pride in their work. And – they’ll deliver performance gains of 30 percent or more.

Don’t wait. Formalize your values operating system with an organizational constitution and align behavior to it every day.

What is your organization’s values operating system like today? Does it inspire cooperative interaction and proactive problem solving or not so much? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Olivier Le Moal – Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


YT_subscribeDon’t miss a single video segment in Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series or any of his video clips. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


podcast_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on Libsyn or subscribe via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes or subscribe via iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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