The Invisible Mistake Many Leaders Make and How to Fix it.
Many leaders and executives focus on sales and brand building and miss a very important part to their success: their people.
Most of my coach-sultancy sessions with business owners and leaders start with me saying “We cannot change what we don’t see.” And in most of the cases, the problem identified for their business is not the root problem but more a symptom.
Some years back, business leaders used to focus on P&L and product only as they wanted results and that was the best they knew how to achieve success. Today, luckily many organizations and leaders, from big corporations to smallest startups, acknowledge the power of brand and the importance of building one for long term success. In the recent years, especially with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, brands now understand how important it is to find their values and purpose, work on their “why” and communicate this to their audience at their best. ‘Building the brand” became a significant priority and started to take mind share from the leaders – which is great news.
That being said, many brands and organizations still seem to struggle a lot, that the brand that they are investing so fiercely, does not seem to connect with their target audience or they simply don’t get the results that desire. We might do a full brand audit and consult them on the purpose, image and innovation fronts, increase – decrease – change the mix of marketing spending, do consumer research but still be unable to address the real problem.
Let me tell you why…
We are so focused on building the brand, we completely miss the importance of what we are building it “on”…
Your brand positioning is your promise, your claim… to the external world…
Culture, on the other hand, is how you keep that promise, how and if you will be able to keep that promise.. It is about what is really happening within, it is the manifestation of the true nature of your brand.
I like to explain this with an analogy. If your brand is a seed, say an apple tree, which its’ promise to the consumer is proving apples, right?
What is culture then in this analogy? The culture is the soil and the CLIMATE that you plant the apple tree..
And when there is a mismatch between the brand and the culture, success is very unlikely. The apple tree seed might be a perfect breed, but if it’s not on the right soil – in this case leadership – and not in the right climate – the culture -, there is no chance the efforts of watering or fertilizing will do any help .The main problem in such organizations, where they try to tackle brand and culture separately, they are unfortunately wasting their efforts to build either.
Fully integrating and aligning your brand and culture produces meaningful, powerful results that affect your whole business.
The question is how to do that, what are your thoughts?