by Michael Holland     

What traditions have you created or enabled within your team or company?  As a leader, you are in the powerful role of creating rituals, beliefs, values, and cultural norms by the ways in which you behave and enable behavior within others, both as individuals and in groups.

Tradition sounds so impressive and positive: the transmission of customs or beliefs that have been passed along over time.  Sports teams have traditions, small towns have traditions, families have traditions, community groups have traditions, and faith-based groups have traditions.

But traditions can be negative as well. Ethnic/racial bias, union-management misperceptions, political party platforms, and economic vitality (think wealthy, middle class, lower middle class, poverty) have all negatively affected companies in the past and present.

So, what traditions will your legacy hold?  What behaviors, customs, and beliefs are you enabling, with or without pre-thought?  As you read the items below, think through how your employees talk about your legacy with their friends and family.

  • Employee empowerment
  • Growth from within
  • Fear of layoffs
  • Executive perks
  • Trustworthiness
  • Owner entitlement
  • Professional growth
  • Building future leaders
  • Community volunteerism
  • Profit, profit, profit
  • Success
  • Mediocrity
  • Honorable

Start crafting your story and traditions today.  Create new ones, adjust some underway and eliminate those that pull down you and your team.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Make a list of the words/phrases you’d hope employees would use when describing you and your leadership impact.
  • Create a quick survey (checkout SurveyMonkey) to send to your employees seeking their feedback on how they might describe your leadership style, behavior, impact.  Compare the outcomes to your list created from the first Coaching Thought.
  • When talking with your significant other or peers or friends, what words and phrases do you use when talking about your boss?