Every company, large and small, is driven by the passion to be the best, to create the next big thing, and to succeed.
Even just to make it through the week.
We often think about our external-facing brand, but we have a brand inside the company too. Understanding how to drive your own tribe is crucial to success.
So, here’s a seven-point game plan that helps:
- Make sure everyone in the company knows how the company started. Share why you jumped off the ledge. Your drive and commitment inspires others. Make every employee understand they are part of a much larger legacy. What they do matters to the continuation of that founding mythos.
- Everyone in your tribe must understand why the tribe exists. And its importance versus other tribes. Let everyone know why they come to work in the morning. Whether it’s to “Think different,” “Just do it,” or to be the best damn t-shirt shop in the whole wide world, it’s important for everyone to understand their commitment. Newcomers should know why you exist from Day 1. If they don’t, you risk them importing the beliefs and priorities of the company they just came from (which may be one of your competitors). That’s sure to pollute your culture. Reward those who follow the code. Cash prizes work wonders.
- Put a flag in the ground. Make sure that everyone knows that your tribe exists. Display yourself. If people laugh at company t-shirts, printed trucks, and other corporate jingoism, create something else for your tribe to gather around. What’s your corporate campfire? Ignite it, and keep the flame burning.
- Celebrate accomplishments. Create spontaneous moments of joy. Make sure that everyone is aware of how they should act toward customers and each other. (How you act toward them will influence this.) Do not let process become routine boredom. Reward proactive behavior and people who inspire others to be their best. Promote smiling. Become the tribe that does great, incredible, wonderful things.
- Your company is filled with stories, jokes, and anecdotes that become the culture of your tribe. Make sure everyone shares in the wealth of your narrative, especially newcomers. Stories help reinforce communication between tribe members. Share tales of victory; they reassert why your tribe exists. Again, build a campfire where people can tell their stories.
- Every tribe has factions that may not agree with what you are doing. Be open-minded and curious about other points of view. But beware of nonbelievers in your own organization, for they can pollute it. If they don’t come around, invite them to leave.
- Be the leader. You are the individual who must stand in the face of the dragon and never flinch. In the end, success or failure depends upon your ability to rally the tribe and stave off rivals, create remarkable services, and quality products.
Your mission is to create an internal tribe of fans who become so passionate about your success that they create it themselves.