Creating a Culture that Matters
I’ve recently been reading the book Culture Code, by Daniel Coyle, a distinguished author who looks into the lives of talented individuals to see what sets them apart from the rest. In this book, instead of looking at celebrated individuals, he looked into celebrated cultures that have produced success over the course of time. Some of the cultures he looked into included the Navy’s Seal Team 6, the San Antonio Spurs, a group of jewel thieves, and Pixar. By spending time with these different groups, he identified three characteristics that made each team and culture successful.
I want to talk about two of these characteristics in particular. These two traits are safety/security and a sense of belonging amongst the people in the group. Safety was seen as possibly the most important because when people feel secure, they open up and work in a way that allows them to flourish. When people feel unsafe, they spend most of their time worrying, and not actually doing what needs to be done because they feel at any moment they could be removed or asked to leave. I’m sure all of us can look back to a time in our life where we were a part of a team or group where we felt safe, and because of that security we have many great memories to look back on from that experience.
After safety meets the criteria, a sense of belonging is next on the list because when we feel we belong, we make decisions for the betterment of the group. We’re able to see the how little decisions we make from day to day have the capability to influence the big actions of the group. Many people see trust as an important factor to create belonging, research evidence shows that in order to create trust we must first be vulnerable. That’s right: vulnerability precedes trust. Most of us believe that trust comes first, but when people open up and are vulnerable, it creates a foundation upon which that trust is built.
Now you may ask, why am I bringing up this topic at all? My response to that question, I believe that in order for Force to be the best it can be, it needs a culture that’s built upon the strongest foundations and cannot be shaken. I present these two characteristics to you so you can ask yourself if we as Force coaches are really doing our part in making sure you feel safe and a sense of belonging. If we are doing that, tell us a way in which you think we can make this foundation even stronger and deeper. If we are not, let’s have that conversation so we can make sure we do everything possible to create a culture that will flourish.
– – Coach Bram