Culture – Yours and Theirs

18 Jul

Culture is such an important thing.  HBR admonishes “Culture Eats Strategy“.  It is difficult to define but as a leader nobody shapes and steers the culture more than you do.  One way to define it is by the behavior you tolerate.

Perhaps just as important as the culture you are building is the attention you pay to the cultures of your team.  This article highlights an example where something as innocuous as “Thank You” can be interpreted very differently depending upon where you come from.

In America, by contrast, saying thank you often marks an end to the transaction, an end to the conversation, an end to the interaction. It is like a period at the end of a sentence. Only in the United States have people offered thanks for coming to their homes or parties. Initially I was surprised when people thanked me for visiting their house when they were the ones who’d invited me, but then I learned that, “Thank you for coming to my home” actually meant, “It’s time for you to get out of my house.”

Make sure you understand the perspectives of your team when going about the establishment of your leadership culture.