2 Ingredients Leaders Need To Change Culture

In David Kirkpatrick’s masterpiece The Facebook Effect, he chronicles the launch, growth, and impact of Facebook and specifically its creator Mark Zuckerberg.  A key element in the company’s growth was when Sheryl Sandberg left Google to join the company as its COO in 2008.

Sandberg was the strong advertising advocate and salesperson the company desperately needed.  Kirkpatrick states “She had immense experience with advertisers from Google and a deep appreciation for the importance and potential of ads on the Net.”

After reading that comment, it became clear to me what two ingredients leaders need to change culture and take their organizations to the next level.

  1. Immense Experience
  2. Deep Appreciation

Immense Experience is not necessarily associated with your age or tenure though it could be.  Immense Experience is more associated, however, with the depth of your experience in a given discipline.  Sandberg was only 40 years old when she joined the Facebook team.  The greatest value of Immense Experience is not that you know all the answers, but rather you know all the questions your organization is going to face.  Immense Experience brings new perspective and prevents being blind-sided.

Deep Appreciation – We often mistakenly discount the past.  When we think of “change”, we think of moving from something bad or out-dated to something good and relevant.  That may be the case but a better definition of change would simply be continual personal or corporate growth.  Positioning change in that light allows us to honor our past, honor those who came before us, honor the industry as well as its impact in people’s lives.  Don’t despise small beginnings.

You can be young but have Immense Experience.  You can facilitate change but have a Deep Appreciation for the industry and platform for which you now stand.  The best leaders have both.  Your thoughts?

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

One Response to “2 Ingredients Leaders Need To Change Culture”

  1. Brian,

    I’ve thought plenty about how to change the culture of my organization, but not as a change agent for the industry that I’m in. I would think, though, that an organic approach to change could have the most staying power in the larger scope of things.

    I agree with your two components, but would add that you also have to be humble enough to realize that your experience and appreciation should attract others who can effect change more efficiently than you can. Surround yourself with people that you want to listen to.


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