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How to Get Winners, Not Whiners

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In today’s rapidly changing, highly competitive environment, the benefits of a winning corporate culture are well documented. A highly engaged workforce that is empowered, energetic, and committed is more creative, client-centric, and focused on delivering stronger results for the company.

All business leaders want their people to be committed to the company’s mission. We want all staff to be passionate and capable of engaging with clients. Employees love being on a winning team, and engaged clients buy more and are willing to pay more—which is good news for the bottom line.

This is what business leaders want, but ultimately you get what you tolerate! If you tolerate mediocrity, a lack of passion, a win-lose attitude, and avoidance behaviors, you will not create a winning culture.

The first steps in creating such a culture are to select capable people and to build teams fueled by trust.

Winning culture

If you want to achieve strong results, you’d better have an organizational culture steeped in winning. The first steps in creating such a culture are to select capable people and to build teams fueled by trust. Trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation and inspiration. With trust comes drive and the ambition to win. In other words, trust-based teams help individuals to win.

People have an inherent desire to be trusted and to trust others. Trust is a function of character (integrity, internal drive, and intent) as well as competence (capabilities, skills, and results).

You can’t force people to trust you. Leaders are focused on results, success, and business wins, which they achieve by making non-stop decisions about people, strategies, clients, and resources. But successful leaders must also be visionaries who are capable of telling stories and persuading others.

To influence others, first you must listen. When employees see this quality in their leader, they are much more likely to respond positively and open up. Building this trust is more critical than ever before. Trust produces speed and results, which in turn drive a culture of winning.

From working with clients around the globe, I know that managers must adapt to the local culture in order to succeed. Nevertheless, individual human needs are similar in all countries. The same can be said of the basic rules of doing business: create trust, provide credibility, deliver the promised results, and you will generate success.

The economic landscape has shifted under our feet; now more than ever, we must focus on winning and achieving our ambitions. My 15 years as an international management consultant have taught me that ego, fear, and pressure are not business accelerators. It’s all about connection, energy, and trust—the key elements of winning.

We are in the business of building winning cultures. We make sure business leaders are able to engage their people to win in the marketplace and create “raving fan” client relationships.

If you want to win, commit to engaging 100% of your staff to focus on the company’s goals.

Leadership development

Leadership development is the key to executing an ambitious strategic agenda. If you want to create a winning culture, prioritize the development of leaders who embody five types of leadership:

 

  1. Achiever: High-energy and laser-focused.
  2. Change agent: Has an inspiring vision for the way forward.
  3. Professional: Fully understands the business.
  4. Communicator: Engages, educates, and empowers audiences.
  5. Team player: Trusts others and is trustworthy.

 

Leadership development needs to be a part of your business strategy. If you want to win, commit to engaging 100% of your staff to focus on the company’s goals.

And how can you achieve this? By cascading down to every single member of the company why we do what we do, what we stand for, what exactly we are trying to achieve, and how we will make it all work.

 

Erik W. Hiep, Professor at IE Business School, has more than 15 years of experience working with global organizations.

© IE Insights.

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