Terry Hershey is an author, humorist, inspirational speaker, dad, ordained minister, golf addict, and smitten by French wine. He divides his time between designing sanctuary gardens and sharing his practice of “pausing” and “sanctuary,” to help us do less and live more. Terry Hershey’s book, The Power of Pause, offers the permission to slow down and to be gentle with ourselves, in a world that demands More-Bigger-Faster.
Being with Terry is always enjoyable and rich. He’s funny, thoughtful, and poignant in his ideas about how organizations care for and lead their people. I was honored that he shared these words about my new book Thermostat Cultures.
“Organizations love posters with words about values. That’s always good. But thankfully Jason Barger takes the next steps to help you live the culture you want with intentional action. Thermostat Cultures gives permission to lead and to care.” – Terry Hershey
I sat down with Terry recently on Vashon Island outside of Seattle for a conversation about the power of building culture and setting the temperature with the groups and teams in our lives. Below are some highlights from our discussion and his answers to a few questions:
Q: HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THE CULTURE OF A TEAM OR ORGANIZATION?
A: Culture is a carrier of meaning. Cultures provide not only a shared view of “what is” but also of “why is.” In this view, culture is about the “story” in which people in the organization are embedded, and the values and rituals that reinforce the narrative. When you can change the culture, you change the game.
Q: IS THERE AN IMAGE THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT DEVELOPING CULTURE?
A: With regard to culture, I start with the premise: your dirt matters. I’m a garden designer at heart. Most people focus on the flowers or the landscape. Landscapes are to be viewed and a garden is to be lived in. The right kind of fertile dirt and soil makes the difference. It’s the soil that fosters energy, focus, patience, kindness, connection, awareness, and reliance on the big picture. Organizations who create real cultures provide a lot of dirt and soil for others to grow.
Q: YOU AND I BOTH LOVE A QUOTE THAT WE RETURN TO OFTEN. PLEASE SHARE.
A: Plato said “What is honored will be cultivated.” Whatever we honor with our time, energy, spirit, focus and heart is what gets cultivated. This is important because it is about behavior / systematic behavior. Character leads to attitude / choices… which leads to behaviors… which leads to relational engagement. Culture cultivates attitude. What we honor is what is cultivated.
Thank you to Terry Hershey for his kind words about Thermostat Cultures and the process of leading change. His wisdom, insights and friendship have been very valuable to me. Learn more about Terry and his inspirational work at www.TerryHershey.com
What temperature will you set with the groups in your life?
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember and the new book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
Follow on Twitter @JasonVBarger and learn more at JasonVBarger.com
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