Rule No. 1
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Rule No. 1

How to articulate your organization’s unique behaviors

Most organizations have written down who they are and what they stand for. Purpose, mission, values… But too often, these words are nothing more than fancy posters on the wall because the behavior of people in the organization is at odds with the stated purpose and values.

In today’s increasingly transparent world, what you say about yourself doesn’t matter much. It’s your lived purpose and values, your behavior, that matters.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it well.

“Don’t say things. What you are stands over you the while and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.”

So as a leader, if you’re serious about standing for something, then you have to be serious about the actual behavior in your organization. You have to help people in your organization understand what the purpose, mission, values look like in daily behavior.

Doing this well is tricky. You’ve got to provide direction without being overly prescriptive. You’ve got to understand which behaviors are table stakes and which truly manifest your organization’s unique character. And you’ve got to write them with a bit of poetry to reflect your organization’s unique voice.

I’ve done this work for several of my consulting clients. And today, I posted a tool on my website to help you do this for your team or organization. Go check out the Toolbox page on my site where you can view and download the tool. If you use it and find it helpful, please share it with others. And if you have any feedback, please send it my way. Over time, I hope to share many tools that leaders can use to enable their people to fully live Rule №1: Be Yourself.

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