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10 Leadership Styles that Cripple Your Culture

Many books have been written connecting culture and excellent service, including from the world famous DeJulius Group, Mercedes, Nordstrom, and Starbucks. But, there is an undeniable connection between what " “behind the counter” and what happens in front of the counter.

So, what’s the secret to great culture and outstanding customer experience?

The most important ingredient is LEADERSHIP.

But, let’s get clearer.

Not just leadership in general, but YOUR leadership.

Even more specific, it’s YOU.

There is, however, a problem.

We can see ourselves to a degree, but all of us have that space where we can’t see-The Blind Spot.

Stated differently, our perception and what we think of ourselves is usually different than what others think.

Below are 10 signs that it is, in fact, YOU who might be holding your organization back from amazing culture and outstanding service.

10 Leadership Styles that Cripple Your Culture

1. Dominating Effect

SIGN: You are the only one who talks at meetings.

PRINCIPLE: Cultural excellence is directly tied to engagement.

FIX: Make it your goal to have each person in the meeting say something.

2. Control Effect

SIGN: Nobody ever tells you “no” or challenges what you say.

PRINCIPLE: Cultural excellence is increased with shared ownership.

FIX: End everything you say with, “What do you think?”, and then listen.

3. Shutdown Effect

Sign: You only do your ideas.

Principle: Cultural excellence increases when others can contribute.

Fix: Simply put, do someone else’s idea.

4. Turnover Effect

Sign: People leave your organization for shallow reasons.

Principle: Cultural excellence retains people.

Fix: Ask people what it would take for them to stay and then do it.

5. Funnel Effect

Sign: All questions come through you.

Principle: Cultural excellence increases when others share responsibility.

Fix: Delegate authority, clarify roles, and then don’t answer when people ask you. Send them to someone else.

6. Blind Eye Effect

Sign: You do not deal with problems.

Principal: Cultural excellence grows and trust is built when standards are maintained.

Fix: Solve problems swiftly and thoroughly.

7. Eggshell Effect

Sign: You fly off the handle when certain things are said.

Principle: Cultural excellence is marked by a pursuit of truth and reality by all.

Fix: Get a coach to help you control yourself emotionally.

8. Octopus Effect

Sign: No decision can be made without your approval.

Principle: Cultural excellence is enhanced when others can leave their mark.

Fix: Make your only response to every decision questions this: “You decide”.

9. Blind Spot Effect

Sign: Everyone knows and talks about your weaknesses except you.

Principle: Cultural excellence is enhanced when the leader is honest with themself in front of others.

Fix: Fill your life with truth tellers and listen to them.

10. Silo Effect

Sign: No one does more than what their job requires.

Principle: Cultural excellence increases when care is reciprocal.

Fix: Make it your mission to care for others personally.

Equip and Empower Your Employee

Credited to Lauris Woolford, former EVP at 5/3 Bank, one of the most profound statements ever said about culture is this:

“It’s people that drive performance. They want to add value and they want to be valued.”

Get out of the way, empower your people, and celebrate the growth that follow.

is the Owner of Chick-fil-A Houston Road in Florence and currently serves on the NKY Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Committee.

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