Last summer, I was attending a conference where I met an up-and-coming entrepreneur. We got into a conversation about building teams when she began bemoaning a situation she had with one of her reports, where he came to her and said, “I think we need a culture committee.” She encouraged him, “Great! Go make one!” But then she lamented that 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months later, there was no culture committee. With a sigh, she complained that employees always say they want to do things, but, when given the opportunity, they “rarely rise to the occasion.”
She may have had the best of intentions but without truly understanding the root of the problem, finding a matching solution, and giving him the right tools, she’d probably left this guy feeling lost, and perhaps more disgruntled than ever.
One thing I’ve realized since is that if you’re a leader, your employees are your customers — customers of your leadership, your mentorship, your coaching, your direction. So if every employee is a customer, what should you do in a situation like the one I’ve described, and many others?