Part 4 of a 6 part blog series on developing a culture that breeds success. Make sure you add the RSS feed to your reader so you don’t miss anything in this series!

One summer, at a park in Sydney Australia, I was enjoying a nice Aussie summer. It was a Saturday with scads of people appreciating the balmy weather and the cool breezes that made their way into the city from the ocean. One particular sight caught my attention. There was a man about 35 years old who didn’t look quite right. His hair was a mess, he had extra bits of clothes that didn’t really compliment him very well, and he had on 2 different kinds of shoes.

I noticed he was with a little girl about 7 years old. After closer observation, I saw that she was dictating to him what to do and then she would laugh hysterically. This was a father so abandoned to himself and committed to enjoying time with his daughter, he didn’t care how he looked to others. It was an amazing sight! It was obviously her day.

Imagine a team of people with the same reckless abandon of this father in the park. Imagine what could get done. That is the exact kind of audacious commitment that contributes to a culture of success. It brings about change, innovation, creativity, and an overall “feeling” that permeates the team and becomes an intrinsic part of the culture. It is done when the overall goal is more important than the typical distractions.

If you want audacious commitment to inundate your culture, three things must happen. There are many ways to do it, but the end result must:

  1. Create an alignment of values – People need to feel an emotional connection to what they are doing. The best way to do this is to speak to someone’s value system. People will make sacrifices if they feel the action will be an expression of their values.
  2. Show lavish appreciation for small things – People love to be praised for what they do. Make it genuine, specific, public, and frequent. We will continue to do things that bring us praise. Having a healthy expectation of receiving the pat on the back and it being met…that’s powerful stuff!
  3. Listen to people – This may seem insultingly obvious, but you would be amazed by how many leaders forget to do this with any form of consistency. People have lives and like to talk about them. If people aren’t talking about their lives, ask them about their life. It doesn’t have to be overly personal. Just make yourself available and show a genuine interest in others.

Put these 3 things in play and you will be amazed at the commitment you will see from people. Add this to the previous posts of this blog series and you will be well on your way to tackle even the fiercest projects with confidence. The instigating factor of all of this functioning well, of course, is you (as a leader) exemplifying the commitment you hope to see in others.