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Recognition - Character

It looked great, sleek lines, lovely grain across the table top. After dragging his palm across the surface, he tapped his knuckles on the table top. His smile dropped and he turned away. This was not the table for him. His gentle tap has told him that despite the surface looking great, it was a veneer and was not solid wood.

A friend of mine, Andy Stewart, is a brand expert and author. When you chat to him about brand, he will explain that good brand is not just an add on or a colour palette. Good brand is something that is at the core of the organisation, at the heart of a leader and pervades every part of the organisation. Your brand should not be like a veneer, a marketing gimic laid on top. Your brand should be the grain within solid wood, pervading everything.

I would argue that your brand is your culture. The two should be synonymous.

Let’s take Everyday Leaders brand. We are all about inspiring and equipping those that we work with. You should find it in the coaching, the training, the book, the blogs and podcasts. But for this to be truly brand, it should be in the culture of the organisation. You should see it in conversations between the team of associates, sharing good practice. You should experience it when Chloe, our office manager answers the phone or sends an email.

If a brand is just about external and it is not part of our culture then it doesn’t take much to discover that is just a veneer. We should ‘be’ the brand in every conversation and interaction.

Now we probably all know the Peter Ducker quote, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, which implies that the culture of your company always determines success regardless of how effective your strategy may be. But what is good culture and brand?

There is a brilliant book by Daniel Coyle, called ‘The Culture Code’. In it he outlines the core elements of a good culture and how to achieve it. He outlines

  • Safety – it feels like a family and you can make mistakes and be supported

  • Chemistry – a sense of connection, demonstrated in great eye contact with one another

  • Leadership – leaders who ‘fill your cup’ and lead with ‘muscular humility’

  • Communication – short bursts of talking and listen in equal measure

  • Vulnerability – ‘Vulnerability loops’ making it safe for you to be vulnerable and AARs (After Action Reviews) to improve things

I highly recommend you read the book. It can act as a great measuring stick to your own culture.

So, how do you create that kind of culture? Of course, it takes a lot of hard work and focus. It takes getting the right people on board who in the words of Patrick Lencioni are Humble, Hungry (for team success) and Smart (emotionally intelligent). But one of the key ways to grow it, is through the Power of Praise and recognition. I often tell participants on my training about ‘Meerkat Moments’. These are the moments that when you praise the things that you want to see, then people’s attention is drawn to it, just like a meerkat’s attention is drawn to where the noise is. It is also about ‘Miranda Moments’. Miranda Moments are when, like the TV character Miranda when she turns to the camera and explains herself, you turn to colleagues and explain why you are doing something that aligns to the culture that you want.

So, in order for you to grow the culture that you want, you have to recognise the culture.

  • Recognise the culture that you want. Be clear yourself.

  • Recognise it by explaining it to people.

  • Recognise it by praising it when you see it in action.

  • Recognise it by explaining why you do things that align to the culture that you want.

The power of praise can help foster and grow your culture. Now that is power.

If you would like help with considering brand then we highly recommend the ‘Lunchbox Seminar’ that Andy Stewart will be speaking at on Tuesday 23rd February 12pm with the Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce. It will inspire you about being ‘On Brand’.

If you would like help through coaching or training on how to identify your organisation’s identity, improve your culture or the use of praise, then please do contact us and we would love to help you.


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