Thursday, January 27, 2011

Company Culture

"When you put on khakis, you are no longer a Machinist’s Mate or Fire Controlman or Culinary Specialist or, you pick the rate. You are a Chief, and you are responsible for one thing and that is leading." ~ Adm Mike Mullen

On Tuesday night I had a wonderful conversation with a lot of very intelligent folks during #Tchat on Twitter. I was asked about the Navy and how we develop our culture. It's hard to answer that question when you only have 140 letters to use. So, I figured why not write a post about it. So here it goes. 

One thing that helps the Navy define it's culture is, The Sailor's creed, it is something that every sailor learns and can quote from memory. Everyday in the Navy we recite the sailor's creed while at quarters or at muster. It reminds each and everyone of us that we belong to and serve a greater good. I have listed the creed below, with my thoughts on each part:

U.S. Navy

I am a United States Sailor. Simple statement that reminds us that we are part of and represent the United States and the Navy in all that we do. 

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. Reinforces that we do not set the rules, we are the ones that enforce and obey them. It also reminds us of the hierarchy that we utilize to get the job done.

I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.  Establishes that we are not alone in what we do, and encourages us to continue to honor the heritage of those that have served before us. The last part of this is significant in that it helps us to understand not only a cultural belief but that we are carrying out the will of the american people in obeying our orders. 

I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. This finalizes our progression from individual sailor, to Country and finally to our shipmates. It then reinforces the core values of how we are to conduct ourselves at all times, off and on duty.

I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all. I think this final statement sums up what the Navy has done, very well, for a long time. That is to celebrate diversity and to understand the acceptance of everyone from every walk of life, and how each brings unique points of view that can help everyone be more successful.

Think about how this creed could impact your companies culture, if everyday you and your co-workers recited a similar creed. It would reinforce so many great qualities that every company would love to have:

  • Sense of Team, part of something much larger then oneself.
  • Loyalty to one another and the mission.
  • Integrity in all that you do
  • Commitment to excellence and to getting the job done right the first time
  • Celebrate diversity and the uniqueness of everyone inside of a larger group.

I hope that maybe this gives you some ideas on how you can create a culture in your workplace that you would be proud of and would enjoy to promote. 


Bret said...

Excellent as always. Even though everyone has memorized it, I know you would admit that not all really take it to heart and live it. This is true of any company culture. As a leader, how do you deal with those that don't honor the creed? No easy answer here, I know, just something I've always struggled with myself. Thanks, Bret

Voices of Leadership said...

Thank you for your time to comment. Yes, as you've mentioned, not everyone takes this creed to heart. These are the ones who usually weed themselves out. I'm sure that there are those that have "Faked it" Usually, those that do not make it a way of life, move on or get kicked out. Thanks again for your insightful comments.


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