Behind ever behavior is a belief.  When a person speaks up it is likely they believe they have valuable insights to share.  When a person sticks with a new health regimen it is likely the person believes it will be worth it in the end.  Likewise, the behaviors that a leader projects at work are backed by beliefs.

It is important to be aware of our own beliefs (or the beliefs running through the organization) in order to support value-creating behaviors and lose the value-crushing behaviors.

Marshall Goldsmith (in his book What Got you Here Won’t Get you There) has an entertaining list of “20 Unrecognized Habits of Leaders.”  Each of these unproductive habits has related beliefs just under the surface.  For example, “Winning too much (at all times and in all situations)” may be a result of a belief that MY winning is more important than OUR winning.  As another example, “speaking when angry” may be a result of a belief that it is OK for someone at my level or “I don’t have time to be nice.”

As work culture (or for that matter any culture) can be defined as how we do things around here, it is crucial to look at both the behaviors and the beliefs that are driving the behavior.


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash