We all get the team we deserve. That’s a fact. I had a client share with me recently that he needed to have a long overdue conversation with a toxic teammate that reports to him. His teammate is a high performer. One of the highest, actually. AND this teammate has gotten away with some pretty nasty behaviors in the workplace. The truth is, this teammate isn’t the problem, my client is the problem.
No, my client doesn’t behave in toxic ways in the workplace. So why is he the problem? Because the greatest leadership challenge any of us will ever face is the exact same problem. The greatest challenge we face when leading others is leading ourselves. That’s a fact. You’ve got a toxic teammate? Why have YOU tolerated that behavior? Why haven’t you gotten clear or gotten curious? The behaviors you allow are the standards you set. So my client has created a culture where toxic behaviors are no problem, as long as you perform.
Now he’s got some real hard work in front of him. He’s got clarity and is digging in to get after it and create the culture he wants.
Don’t forget, culture isn’t just in the workplace. The same applies to the culture we create in the rest of our life – and I recently realized where I’M the problem. I love my friends AND I realized some of my relationships have trended towards less connected rather than more. Why? Because I’ve kept them at an arms distance. I love to be there for them AND I struggle to share when I’m struggling with something. I’m learning to slow down and share more. I want deeper friendships? Then it’s time to open up and go deeper. That’s on me. I’m strengthening my core, learning to sit in the discomfort and slowly becoming the friend that creates the depth I desire.
Where is your culture not what you want – at work or at home? How do YOU need to change to close that gap? Get clear and get after it.