Many of our organizations encourage a hyper-competitive atmosphere—different departments fight one another for turf, we don’t fully trust or even know people outside our silos, and we see our colleagues as our competition for accolades and promotions. This excessive focus on the individual weakens collaboration and innovation. It creates a weak leadership culture, where leaders do not feel supported and cannot be their best.
Unfortunately, weak leadership cultures are all too common: only 15% of companies actually have the strong, supportive, collaborative leadership cultures they need to succeed. Today, as the way we work changes around us, building strong leadership cultures is more important than ever before. We won’t be able to get through the upheaval of the transition to hybrid work models without supportive relationships with our colleagues.
A strong community of leaders makes a tremendous impact on the organizational culture and the overall performance of an organization because leaders:
- Have a greater sense of belonging
- Exchange information and knowledge with colleagues
- Are more invested in their work
- Hold themselves and others accountable
- Have higher engagement, which also improves the engagement of their direct reports
The transition to hybrid work is here to stay, meaning we must be more deliberate in how leaders build communities around them, on their teams, and in their organizations.
Leaders at all levels can embrace the mindset needed to build community. Here are some key questions to get you started on this process of reflection:
- Do you bring a one-company mindset to your role?
- Do you act in the interest of the whole organization?
- Do you cultivate credibility and trust?
- Do you break down silos to drive collaboration?
- Do you invest in building relationships with peers and colleagues?
- Do you support the success of others?
Think about your answers to these questions and add some deliberate habits and routines to help you build the community on your team and in your organization. Download our ebook How to be a Community Builder in a Hybrid World for practical ideas on prioritizing relationship building and collaboration in your leadership.