creativity, culture, community
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear is not really the best motivator. Sure, it’ll get you up off your ass running. But when you are in panic mode, are you really making the best decisions? I believe that companies that thrive over the long run are built on a culture of positive reinforcement and encouragement, not fear. These companies take care of their people and understand that talented, empowered employees are the most important part of the business equation.
I’m reading Winning by retired General Electric CEO Jack Welch. It’s filled with advice and tidbits of wisdom for those beginning their careers, as well as those of us who have been around the block. As part of his first rule of successful leadership he discusses evaluating people regularly, supporting them, coaching and guiding them, as well as critiquing them so they can improve. Then he suggests that a good leader should pour out encouragement, caring and recognition to build self-confidence in his people. I like the way he describes building winning teams. His model is called the 4-E framework and it consists of choosing people with the following attributes: positive energy (those who thrive on action and relish change), ability to energize others (individuals who get those around them inspired and moving), edge (those who can take decisive action), and those who can successfully execute (people with the skills and gumption to get the job done).
I also admire the work ethic and business philosophies of Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz. In reading interviews with him, I’m inspired and motivated by his attitude about life and work. I think the kind of culture he has created at Starbuck’s is integral to its success. The company continues to innovate and expand. Starbuck’s success is not only achieved by hard work from dedicated employees, but it is celebrated and shared by their employees also. Just a couple of reasons I think Starbuck’s has it right: The company has provided health insurance for all employees since 1990. Starbuck’s gives back to the communities they serve, as well as to a number of well-known charities. Here’s an interesting interview with Schultz in USA Today by Bruce Horovitz. http://usat.ly/nUy6Ux
I’m heading out to a meeting and I’ll be grabbing a grande two pump vanilla latte on the way.
If you have a few minutes, I’d like to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the culture of success? How does your company motivate or reward employees to do great work?