The cancel culture is real in today’s society.
One wrong move and the keyboard warriors of the world will unite like flies circling a herd of elephants.
I hate to be that person, but it makes me go into a “back in my day” speech about how the cruelest thing someone could do was pass a note about you or involve you unknowingly in a three-way call.
Now we have social media platforms of all natures that allow people to innocently post something that can be torn to shreds in a matter of seconds.
Thinking about this cancel culture caused me to think about credit union culture.
In a way, we have the ability to create this unhealthy atmosphere within our own walls.
One false move and you can cancel an employee’s:
And ultimately, their self-worth.
That is a ton of responsibility.
A ton of responsibility that leaders need to understand is a massive part of theirs.
I have worked in a few cultures that have varied themes.
These themes helped me mold and shape the leader that I ultimately wanted to be, and I am truly grateful for that.
So, what were some of the themes?
The first theme was one that created an Us vs. Them atmosphere between ELT and staff.
As the ELT team got everything from perks to grace from human error, you could slowly see the staff sink lower and lower on the morale ladder.
Why ask? They won’t listen.
Why own up to my mistake? They won’t let me ever forget it.
Why share an idea? They will bring it up as their own anyway.
Why ask to advance? They don’t see value in me.
The next culture was that based completely on fear.
Every single time the Teams Meeting ringer went off, your heart sank.
What did I do wrong now?
How terrible of an employee am I today?
How long will the speech be about how much I don’t know and am apparently not capable of knowing.
Every time you would get an e-mail that began, “Per our last conversation…” you could feel yourself sink a bit lower.
As employees, we found ourselves desperate for something good.
Desperate for a “thata-boy” or “thata-girl”.
Starving for someone, anyone to acknowledge the talent you did bring to the table.
These two cultures taught me a lot about not only the employee that I wanted to be, but ultimately the kind of leader that I wanted to be.
You can cancel someone’s actual spirit by having some of these cancel culture traits within your leadership toolbelt.
I learned quickly through these atmospheres that I wanted to create a different aura.
I wanted to be a watcher.
How they interact.
How they choose their paths.
How they build their confidence to seek the sources to succeed.
I want to listen without interruption.
I want to reiterate what I heard.
I want them to leave me feeling their voice is valid.
I want to empower those around me to never be limited to the words underneath their job description.
I want them to know the only roadblock would be if they stop reaching higher.
I want them to eventually feel empowered enough to empower those around them.
Cancel culture is real.
In pop culture society and in professional atmospheres.
We can easily cancel one another causing damage that we may never really understand the magnitude of.
Take a look at your culture.
How you lead those around you.
Are you proud?
What would they say about you as a leader if someone asked them privately?
Would they recommend your credit union as THE place to work or THE place to avoid?
What it boils down to is that culture is much like turning on a light.
It will go dark if you don’t feed it good old positive energy.
So, I have created a recipe for a positive culture.
One that I am proud to be a part of.
My Recipe for Positive Culture:
C – Care about how you come across to those around you in tone AND in written form.
U – Understand that everyone has a strength to bring to the table and harvesting that is important.
L – Listen to your employees without interruption. Their voice is valid, and they should feel that.
T – Trust your employees from the start and only waiver if you have solid & undeniable proof.
U – Under no circumstance should you EVER feel it is appropriate to demean another person.
R – Respect ideas that are not your own and keep an open mind to a different view.
E – Every single person in your office is part of a team and a team cheers for one another.