The way a team works together, strives for results, and seeks to bring value to the world can be summed up in something called culture.
So what is culture anyway?
The word culture comes from the latin cultura, stemming from colere, meaning “to cultivate.” Generally this refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance.
Culture, in other words, is a belief system within a team that defines who they are collectively. It is the bedrock for their decisions. A culture can lead people to great success or just the opposite, to failure. What’s important to a team’s culture will determine the impact they have on the world. Each member contributes in some way toward the chemistry of the team. A strong chemistry (culture) will weed out people that don’t fit, whereas a weak culture will leave members confused about their identity.
The strength of a culture is equal to the strength of the trust amongst the team. Without trust the accountability associated to their values and purpose does not exist. Without aligned accountability a team will lose their identity and direction.
Here are two ways we as individuals can hold ourselves and our teammates accountable to the values that make a team strong:
1. Connect our heart to why we exist
If we find ourselves on a team with Core Values that we don’t agree with, the only right decision is to find a new team. Living by Core laws we don’t agree to will hold ourselves and teammates back from being fulfilled. Our heart must connect to why our team exists.
2. Reflect on how we contribute
In every situation we create a story. In every story we act as one of four characters;
– the person that lives in self pity. They are always focused on problems while shedding the blame on everyone else
– the angry person that is defiant and shames others while trying to stop team initiatives
– the person who makes no decisions and takes no ownership but is always there, just going with the flow
– the self confident person determined to find a solution while encouraging others to expand their horizons
While we have been all of these at some point, it is important that we constantly check ourselves and our teammates to remain solution minded. When a team is strong enough to constantly bring each other back to their values and purpose, a culture grows very powerful. It becomes stronger than any individual, and the team becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
The image above shows the things our team values within the Elliott Homes Culture. As these all align to our innovation wall (our company beliefs), I would say that we, as a team, are on a great path toward a very purposeful future.
With a strong purpose in our hearts, we can’t be stopped.