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Leadership Skills

How to Create a Work Culture

13 min
Average Score

Chris White

Principal at Riverbank

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In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the role of sales leaders has become more crucial than ever. These individuals are not just responsible for driving revenue; they also play a pivotal role in shaping the company's culture, fostering engagement, and encouraging innovation. However, the path to creating a thriving company culture is not without its challenges. How can sales leaders inspire their teams to excel, collaborate, and think creatively? In this session, we delve into the strategies that empower sales leaders to build a culture that thrives on open communication, responsiveness, and aspirational goals.

Unblocking Communication: The Foundation of Engagement

Effective communication lies at the heart of a successful sales team. When employees feel heard, valued, and respected, they are more likely to bring their best ideas to the table. Unfortunately, the workplace often becomes a breeding ground for invisible "checkouts," where employees disengage silently due to feeling unvalued. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that disengagement costs the global economy billions of dollars each year. To prevent this costly phenomenon, sales leaders must unblock communication channels.

Asking questions, inviting input, and creating an environment where diverse voices are encouraged can transform disengagement into a powerhouse of innovation. The 20,000-person Google walkout serves as a stark reminder that even highly talented employees can walk away when their voices are stifled. By making communication a routine part of the workplace, managers can preemptively address concerns before they escalate.

Responsiveness: Turning Words into Action

Acknowledging employees' concerns is the first step, but it's not enough on its own. Responsive action is crucial to avoid breeding cynicism. Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, demonstrated this by responding openly and supportively to the employee protests. However, turning words into action is a continuous journey. Employee activists and managers must work together, finding common ground and crafting solutions that honor diverse perspectives.

The Courage of Disagreement: Nurturing an Authentic Culture

Sales leaders must recognize that unity doesn't always mean unanimity. Disagreement can be a source of strength if managed correctly. Engaging in open dialogue and fostering healthy debates can lead to better decision-making and innovative solutions. Amazon's Jeff Bezos advocates for "disagree and commit," a philosophy that encourages teams to tackle issues head-on, even when opinions differ. This approach requires a deep reservoir of trust and an unwavering commitment to shared goals.

Aim Higher: Cultivating a Culture of Inclusivity

Beyond merely avoiding disengagement, sales leaders should aim higher by cultivating a culture of inclusivity. When employees can bring their whole selves to work, leveraging their unique experiences, strengths, and perspectives, the organization benefits tremendously. Joan Bohan, a finance director at Disney Europe, exemplifies this. Her son's dyslexia inspired her to propose font modifications that would benefit millions of people with similar challenges.

To begin this transformative journey, challenge the status quo. On Monday morning, approach ten colleagues and ask, "What don't we talk about around here that we really should?" This simple question opens the door to honest conversations and signals your commitment to change. Over time, a culture of responsiveness, inclusivity, and innovation will take root, creating a thriving environment for your sales team to excel.

Watch this session to learn more about how sales leaders can create a culture of engagement, responsiveness, and innovation. By unblocking communication channels, turning words into action, embracing disagreement, and aiming higher, your sales team can become a driving force for positive change within your organization.

As you embark on this journey, remember that the power to shape your company's culture lies within your hands. By nurturing an environment where every voice is heard, every idea is valued, and every individual is empowered, you can lead your sales team to unprecedented success.

If you need to learn how to become more candid when giving feedback, you should watch this session.

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