How to Clarify and Share Your Aspirations for the Way People Treat Each Other at Work

How to Clarify and Share Your Aspirations for the Way People Treat Each Other at Work


The difference between a great place to work and a job is the way people treat each other. The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other while we do the work.

It’s catastrophic when the tone of an organization happens by accident. You can’t set tone alone. But you must clarify and share your aspirations for the way people treat each other.

“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” George Washington Carver

Clarify and share your aspirations:

#1. Identify ten words you want to characterize your organization in the future.

#2. Cut your ten words that describe your future organization down to five. Rank them in order of priority. How do you feel about your top three? What if your organization could only be described by your top word? If you’re not thrilled with your top three words, go back to #1 and start again.

#3. Write a vivid paragraph for each of your top five words describing how that characteristic will be manifested in your future organization. Conclude each paragraph by describing the essential character of each attribute.

#4. Make symbols that reflect the essential character of each word. For example, draw a lighthouse for an aspiration to shine in a dark world.

#5. Ask your team to do steps #1 – #4 for your current organization, not future. What do you notice?

#6. Ask your team to do steps #1 – #4 for their ideal organization. (Do steps five and six at separate times.)

#7. Schedule individual lunch conversations offsite with your leaders to listen to their aspirations for organizational culture.

#8. Begin conversations about current state. Share your aspirations. Start taking action.

What three words would you use to share your aspirations for an ideal organization? Why?

How might you share your aspirations?

Still curious:

5 Essentials of Culture Building

What Makes a Company a Great Place To Work

Move in the Right Direction with a Culture Champion

**This post is adapted from, Culture Rules Field Guide, by Mark Miller and Randy Gravitt.

Previously Published on leadershipfreak with Creative Commons License



Living without meaning makes beasts of us all. Just bury your head in the mud to escape drudgery.

Don’t let environments bully you into exhaustion. Walk through the door dedicated to manage meaningfully.

Managing with meaning turns muddy drudgery into play.

Living with meaning is easier than you might think.

Meaning in three or four words:

Strengths are bearings to anyone who feels adrift.

Write your name on a piece of paper and write beside it your talent, gift, or strength.

(Your name) a (your strength)

  • Mary a relationship builder.
  • Peter an energizer.
  • Betty an influencer.
  • Bob a getter-doner.

Functioning within your strength is effortless effort.

You’re like a kid on the floor with a coloring book, tongue out and feet dangling in the air, when you engage in meaningful action.

Working without meaning reduces you to a frantic windmill groaning in a hurricane.

The dignity and energy of managing with meaning:

You might end the day exhausted, but meaningful action results in gratifying fatigue.

Jobs don’t give you meaning. You don’t find meaning at work; you bring meaning to work. A manager who walks through the door drowning in stress and consumed with problems is little more than a beast.

Tips for creating your meaning statement:

  1. Meaning often hides behind recurring frustrations.
  2. Impact points to meaning. What positive impact do you frequently provide? Do you aspire to provide?
  3. Limit your focus to areas of maximum impact. Meaning enables you to set boundaries.


Don’t be discouraged when others aren’t like you. Perhaps your strength is seeing the big picture and you work with people who just want to get things done.

The things others can’t do gives meaning to things you can do.

How might you live meaningfully today?

How might you help others live meaningfully?

Previously Published on leadershipfreak with Creative Commons License


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The post How to Clarify and Share Your Aspirations for the Way People Treat Each Other at Work appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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