As I’ve mentioned in the previous post (check that out for tips on strategies to implement a culture of giving), the concept of sharing and giving is imprinted onto us like the dark black and brown inks that dance across our tapa, nga’atu or masi, providing rich detail and design to an otherwise plain canvas.
We give respect to our elders and chiefs. We lend a hand to our less fortunate family members. We give our talents over for the greater good! So why is it hard for us, as business leaders and “people” professionals, to promote this culture of giving in our organizations?
I believe there are cultural and psychological barriers that are unique to us as members of the Pacific island communities.
Cultural Misconception Of Leadership
We, as business and people leaders, need to confront the hard truth that we may not have all the answers required of us!
We were taught that our elders were all-knowing which has made us believe, unrightfully so, that you needed to be the smartest and most knowledgeable person in your organization or team. This isn’t the case!
Don’t get me wrong, intelligence has been shown to be a necessary trait for a leader, but you do not have to be all-knowing and giving over that sense of power to those with the necessary knowledge is not a sign of weakness, in fact it’s the exact opposite in the eyes of your team members.
Fear Of Being Caught Out
Call it human nature, but when we’re faced with the possibility of gaining praise or sharing it, we opt for the former. It’s completely natural to want to bask in the glory for the work that your team did under your leadership right?
We usually do this to save face before our higher ups and when we have a culture of giving, praises and rewards need to be given to members of the team that actually deserve it. Not only does that boost the motivation of the team, when they get the praises they deserve, it also magnifies your image as a competent leader to your superiors!
Now Don’t Get Disheartened!
A wiser man than me said that it doesn’t do any good thinking of the many reasons why not to start.
The best time to start was yesterday. The second best is today!
It doesn’t take a lot to implement this culture within your team and organization but it will definitely show results down the line. It’s as easy as introducing aspects of your own culture into your organization such as giving respect and sharing the attention given to your team to the other members. Creating an environment where contributions are encouraged and rewarding those that do.
Try it today and see if it works? Transformation begins when someone has the courage to initiate it and who better to do that than you!