When it comes to setting the temperature on your team, there is no magic pill. There is no easy button. There is no quick fix. Shaping the culture is a committed process. Moving the dial on your thermostats is a journey.
And guess what? The reward is in the journey, too. Going through the process itself with the most important thermostats in your life and work is what creates the desired outcomes. The magic is the journey, together.
Howard Behar, the former President of Starbucks Coffee and Starbucks International, together with his team, grew the iconic chain from 28 stores to 15,000 stores around the globe. He is a humble, caring, and courageous leader as well as a terrific friend and mentor.
When you talk about the importance of culture with Howard, his eyes light up and he nearly jumps out of his chair. “Culture isn’t an add-on to your business. It is everything!” he exclaims.
His book, The Magic Cup, is a business parable about a leader, a team, and the power of putting people and values first. The story is about the discovery that many leaders go through in corporate life that leads some to realize that their significance is not in what they accomplish, but how they travel along the journey.
The values of responsibility, curiosity, cooperation, trust, truth, hope, forgiveness, focus, stewardship, courage and connection fill Howard’s cup. The values are the magic that continues to be fuel for his journey.
He’s not perfect. He’s the first one to admit it and speak openly about mistakes he’s made or things that didn’t go the way he had hoped. The story isn’t about perfection. It’s about the commitment to the journey.
When you sit in his home office, the walls are littered with photos of people and quotes from his journey. The picture frames are not filled with articles about the milestones they achieved as a company or awards he won along the way. They are photos of people. With people. Photos and words that remind him that the sustaining success of the journey lies in the hearts and faces of the people he lives and works with.
It’s about the people. It’s about the temperature they worked hard to set for those around them and for those who would come after them. What filled their cup was being a part of something bigger than themselves and coming together with other people to create it. Their journey was focused on being the best thermostats they could be to reflect their values and to develop and inspire other thermostats. The magic was in the temperature they were setting together.
Jason V. Barger is a globally celebrated keynote speaker, leadership coach and author of Thermostat Cultures, Step Back from the Baggage Claim and ReMember. He is founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, a Columbus-based company that works with businesses and organizations worldwide. Connect via email at jason@JasonVBarger.com or on social media at @JasonVBarger.
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