Jason Barger – Paper Napkin Wisdom
The last time Jason Barger was on the show, he talked about how important it is that we ReMember and make the active choice to evaluate and reconnect to the memberships in our lives. This time, he switches his focus to culture and talks about the importance of culture in leadership and employee performance. Jason borrows his Paper Napkin Wisdom from a poster he saw during a visit to Southwest Airlines. He says: “We are all ambassadors of our culture.”
The phrase is one that has stuck with him throughout the last year. While on a visit to Southwest Airlines, Jason was blown away by the amount of times he saw Southwest’s core values around him: Count on me to own it; we are all ambassadors of our culture. The latter half of the phrase really resonated with him and throughout our conversation he talks about what culture means and why it’s so valuable.
The best companies proactively think about the experiences they can provide to engage the hearts and minds of their team members, they help the employees participate in the culture. This is essential because culture work is not a drive-through experience; it is continuous process and one that is a collaborative effort you have to share with your team. As leaders, we do have to be the biggest ambassadors of our company but if we can empower and create other ambassadors in our teams, people who become an extension of our own voice; that is a powerful asset.
Culture is a reoccurring theme in our Paper Napkins, which I think goes to show the shift in the dynamic of leadership. As leaders, we have to be beacons of our culture, attract people in alignment with our values, and trust our teams to step-up and take ownership. When our teams are taking ownership instead of ‘renting’ their jobs, they are acting as co-creators and participants in our company culture and that makes our team collectively better at dealing with challenges and succeeding as we strive for our goals. When you think about the culture of your own company, do you have a team of tenants or ambassadors? Tenants will maintain the status quo, ambassadors will strive for more.
A great culture isn’t something that happens by accident, nor is it something that will persist without effort. What are you doing to nurture your organizational culture?
Listen to my conversation with Jason here: