How do you know if you work for an organization that has old-school leadership tendencies? Here are five tell-tale signs a culture is still operating in the past:
- It still matters where people sit at the table during meetings.
- Care must be taken regarding the order with which names are placed when addressing emails.
- Employees are discouraged or penalized for speaking to their boss’s boss.
- Disagreeing with your boss publicly is not allowed.
- Bosses have exclusive office and parking locations that separate them from reality.
It’s no mystery why such organizations usually chart a slower course to growth. And this frustrates those employees who want to get past the cultural games of the past, optimize the talent around them, and do greater work faster.
Do you work in an old-school organization? You have 3 options:
- Complain and blame
- Play bigger
Choosing ‘A’ isn’t leading; it’s not a serious option. ‘B’ may be necessary, but only if ‘C’ has been executed.
Playing bigger includes modeling behaviors that aren’t consistent in the system. And doing so will get the attention of others. People may even whisper that your new-world behaviors are career limiting: If you keep taking actions based upon what is best for the business rather than what’s best for the boss or old-fashioned culture, you may not get promoted.
This is true, of course. If your greatest aspiration is to go higher in an old-school culture, then you should keep playing down to the level of the culture. But if the vision you have for yourself is to lead with integrity and fight for the future of your business by modeling a better way, then there’s nothing limiting about playing bigger.
Determining where you want to go is best answered by first defining who you are.
It’s your call. (It’s always your call.)