Growing a business is a lot like farming, something that I spent quite a few years doing earlier in my career. In order to produce a bountiful crop, careful attention must be paid to the land, crop selection and cultivation practices. In business, culture is like the land upon which the business grows; it can be fallow or made fertile through the proper cultivation practices. Some of a grower's most important work occurs in the winter months.
As I was in the midst of planning for 2014, I happened to read a current post by Anthony Iannarino on his sales blog and I heartily recommend it to you:
As he focuses on "leaders" in his remarks, I encourage you to think more broadly than the idea of leaders equating to managers. While all leaders must "manage" people and processes as part of their duties, not all managers are leaders. Neither is it necessary to be a manager in order to lead your own efforts and act as a thought leader in your work group. When a culture is healthy, leadership translates into "ownership" at all levels.
Anthony points out that "When a leader doesn’t create, nurture, and protect a healthy culture, an unhealthy culture can take root and grow on its own. A leader has to pull out by its roots any threat to the culture." I will add my own belief that if a person is willing to walk past a noticeable weed in the garden, they are willing to overlook much bigger problems.
The culture that we share requires our diligent cultivation in order to produce its maximum yield. Each of us are stewards of the culture, just as a grower is a steward of the land. This is because, as Anthony states: "Culture is what takes over when leadership and management isn’t around." It is the soil that sustains the crop!