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Building a culture of command

In any organization, the ability to command and lead is essential for success. But creating a culture of commanders within an organization can be difficult, especially if the company is large and decentralized. A strong command culture starts at the top, with a clear and concise vision from the CEO and leadership team. From there, it must be communicated effectively to all company members, down to the lowest levels. Everyone will be working towards the same goals and achieving great things.

What is a culture of command?

A culture of command is a term used to describe an organization where everyone is clear on their role and responsibilities and is working together towards a common goal. It’s essential to ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page and aligned with its vision.

A strong command culture starts at the top, with a clear and concise vision from the CEO and leadership team. This vision must be communicated to all employees, and everyone must buy into it. Leadership must lead by example and be held accountable for their actions. Being held responsible sets a clear example to the organization of what behaviors will or will not be tolerated. Leaders cannot allow the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality to infiltrate the organization.

When everyone in the organization is working towards the same goal, it creates a sense of unity and purpose. This can be a powerful motivating force for employees. It can also help create a more positive work environment, as employees feel like they are part of something larger than themselves.

Build the Culture of Command

A culture of command takes time to develop, but it is essential for any organization that wants to succeed. Leadership must be committed to building this culture from the ground up and setting the tone for the organization. With a strong vision and leadership team in place, an organization can begin to build a culture of command that will help them achieve its goals.

Let Go.

The first step in building a culture of command is letting go. The C-level executives must be able to let go of control. There are numerous layers of organizational hierarchy in place for a reason. Use it to your advantage. Businesses fail when decision-making ability is removed from mid-level management teams. The executives at the top need to trust their employees to make the right decisions.

Empower your employees by giving them the ability to make decisions. Allow for creativity and risk-taking. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking. You will breed a culture of leaders who are not afraid to take risks and innovate when you do this.

Communicate

The second phase of building a culture of command begins with communication. Leadership teams cannot work in silos. Each section of an organization must be aware of what other sections are working on. Daily meetings of team leaders may seem mundane. However, the insight and experience gained by the collective group are invaluable.

During these meetings, everyone must be allowed to share their ideas openly. Leadership must be willing to listen to new and different perspectives. By embracing change and encouraging creativity, an organization can foster a culture of innovation. This is essential for any organization that wants to stay ahead of the curve.

Encouraging creativity does not mean that leadership should allow chaos to reign. There must still be structure and order within the organization. However, by being open to new ideas and ways of doing things, an organization can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that they may not have had access to before.

Realize the Potential

Allowing employees to own their work can have a number of benefits for an organization. When employees feel like they are part of the team and that their input is valued, they are more likely to be productive and take pride in their work.

Giving employees ownership also allows them to take risks and be creative. This can lead to new and innovative ideas that can help the organization move forward. When employees feel like they are a part of the decision-making process, they are more likely to be invested in the outcome.

Finally, allowing employees to own their work helps to create a sense of community and teamwork. When everyone feels like they are working together towards a common goal, it can help to improve morale and foster a positive work environment.

Are we on the same page?

The impact of vision cannot be understated. When we communicate to our entire workforce the vision of the organization, we keep everyone in tune with the expectations of progress. A vision should be laid out to where you see the organization in the long term. Not specifically how to get there, but the clear direction of what the outcome should be.

If you’re building a house, the elements that you want in the house should be included in the vision—the number of rooms, rough layout, size, pool, etcetera. Let the management teams, now commanders, decide how to get there. Allow creativity to foster in the environment. Continue to communicate your vision for the organization. Keep everyone locked on the outcome and push the organization forward.

Conclusion

An organization cannot achieve success without a strong leadership team in place. This is especially true when it comes to creating and fostering a culture of innovation. In order for an organization to move forward, the executives at the top must be able to let go of control and trust their employees to make the right decisions. Communication is key, and leaders must be willing to listen to new perspectives in order to foster creativity within the workforce. Allowing employees to own their work helps create a sense of community and teamwork, which can improve morale and productivity. By realizing the potential that a culture of commanders can have, an organization can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that they may not have had access to before.

Why Panera’s Subscription Didn’t Work For Me

What a great business plan it should have been. Offer a subscription for a good that typically is marked up at 80% as a national average. People would pay the subscription fee, get to the coffee shop, and casually pick up breakfast or a bagel or some other idea while they are already there. Genius.

The backstory

Panera had been advertising its coffee service with a campaign that seemed to attack competitors. Specifically Starbucks and other specialty coffee shops. The ads ran as a series of people tired of waiting in line behind individuals ordering complex drinks. The ads targeted your average coffee drinker. Someone like myself. There is no need for sweeteners, cream, sugar, whip cream, skinny, no-fat, whatever the case. I just want to quickly grab my coffee and kindly exit, or better yet, drive off.

Then, Panera introduced its unlimited coffee subscription plan. Every two hours, you could get a fresh cup of coffee for a monthly fee. Originally priced at $8.99, the math worked out to about 4 cups of coffee. It made sense to me. There was a Panera on my way to work, and I worked an average of 20-days per month in the office. A coffee each day on my way in was well worth the subscription fee.

Things went wrong

At first, the subscription service worked well. I never had to wait for my coffee since it was always freshly brewed and ready to go, and I could enjoy a cup no matter what time of day it was. No more long lines or waiting for my drink; all I had to do was show my type in my phone number, and then my coffee would be ready instantly.

Then, as the pandemic restriction lifted, more people started showing up at the coffee shop.

Remember, Panera had the advertisement about just wanting the coffee.

Things go wrong because the food ordering at Panera is painfully slow, especially if you’re the person that is second in line. Even more frustrating, Panera was on my way to work meant that I was typically time-crunched.

Knowing how slow the process was, If I saw one car in the drive-through, I would bypass Panera altogether. I got stuck behind someone in the drive-through line one too many times. The waiting, just for one simple cup of coffee, seemed foolish.

I’ll go inside

The same thing occurred there for me. Unfortunately, I would seem to always get behind someone in line who wanted to stare at the menu with no situational awareness that people were waiting behind them.

It seemed that nothing I could do quickly got me a simple cup of coffee.

Solution

I get that people are drawn to a restaurant for simple pleasures, such as coffee, and may want an occasional sandwich. However, we should encourage Panera to have a separate pull-off area for people waiting on food orders. Or not allow food orders at the drive-through window.

Perhaps we could someday get a coffee and express lane for beverage service only.

That would relieve some congestion, and I’d gladly pay a slightly higher subscription fee for that convenience.

But until then, I have unsubscribed from Panera’s unlimited coffee service. I still brew my coffee and take it to work with me every day. Occasionally, if there are no cars in the drive-through, I’ll swing through a Panera.

Unfortunately, the lack of convenience in a busy world has prevented me from enjoying another subscription service.

The Power of Philosophy in Leadership: Ethical Actions

What is leadership? Many people would say that it is the ability to get others to do what you want. But what if there was more to it than that? What if leadership was about using your knowledge and understanding of philosophy to help others achieve their goals? This blog post will explore the power of philosophy in leadership and discuss how leaders can benefit from its use.

Philosophy can be defined as the study of wisdom and knowledge. It is a system of thought that helps us critically think about the world around us and make better decisions. When it comes to leadership, philosophy can help leaders better understand their values and beliefs and those of their followers. It can also help leaders develop a more holistic view of leadership, which considers the needs of both the leader and the follower.

When considering the needs of followers, leaders can set themselves apart from other individuals. Leaders who use philosophy as a tool for leadership can see the big picture and make decisions based on what is best for the group, not just themselves. In addition, leaders who utilize philosophical thinking are better equipped to handle difficult situations and innovatively solve problems.

This is because philosophy encourages critical thinking and allows individuals to question their assumptions. It also helps us see things from different perspectives and find new solutions to old problems. More importantly, it is a framework for ethical decision-making. Immanuel Kant argued that moral decisions should be based on a universal law that everyone can agree upon. This is what is known as the categorical imperative.

In short, the categorical imperative is acting upon what is deemed as a duty rather than self-interest. For example, if you give a homeless person money, what is your motivation? Did you act to do an “act of kindness,” or did you act because you feel that all people must give money to those in need? If the motivation for acting was for a self-fulfilling need, then we act outside of our ethics rules. However, if we believe that all needy persons should be given money and act upon that framework, we are considered ethical.

This way of thinking can be applied to leadership to make sure that the leader is acting in the best interest of their followers. For example, are we acting on behalf of our followers to gain their trust and admiration? If so, we are acting outside of our ethical framework. However, if we make decisions based on what is best for our followers and what will help them achieve their goals, we are leading ethically.

Philosophy can be a helpful tool for leadership, but it is not the only tool available. Leaders must also be aware of their values and beliefs and those of their followers. They must also have a clear understanding of the needs of both the leader and the follower. Acting upon the benefits of our followers to make their workdays more enjoyable, with no credit taken and no accolades received, is the philosophically moral high ground of leadership.

While the above writings are the surface level of true philosophical thinking in leadership, the point should not be lost. As leaders, we must constantly be aware of our intentions. Our actions should not be taken to serve ourselves but rather to benefit those we should lead. This is the power of philosophy in leadership. It can change our mindset from a self-serving one to an other-centric one. When we act with the needs of our followers in mind, we can develop trust and respect, which are essential ingredients for successful leadership.

The 5 Pillars of Growth

There are five pillars of growth and productivity that professionals in a leadership role should focus on. These five pillars are time management, goal setting, task prioritization, stress management, and self-awareness. While there is no one right way to achieve success, following these five principles will put you on the path to achieving your goals.

Time Management

Time management is critical for leaders. Leaders need to allocate their time wisely and make the most of every day to be effective. Time management is essential for two reasons. First, it allows you to focus on your goals. You’re more likely to be successful when you have a plan and know what you need to do. Second, it helps you to use your time effectively. You’re less likely to waste time if you’re organized and know what you need to do.

There are a few time management tips that can help you to be more productive:

  • Make a list of your goals and prioritize them. This will help you focus on what is essential and prevent you from getting sidetracked.
  • Set aside time each day for planning. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress towards your goals.
  • Break down your goals into smaller tasks. This will make them more manageable and increase your chances of success.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. This will help you avoid burnout and stay refreshed so that you can continue to be productive.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is another important pillar for growth and productivity. Having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals will help you stay focused and motivated. Leaders should set clear goals and develop a plan to achieve them.

Goal setting is essential for two reasons. First, it allows you to focus on what’s important and prevents you from getting sidetracked. Second, it helps you to use your time effectively. If you have specific goals you’re working towards, you’re less likely to waste time on activities that don’t help you achieve your goals.

Task Prioritization

Task prioritization is another key to productivity. Leaders need to be able to prioritize their tasks and focus on the most important ones. This involves understanding the organization’s goals and what needs to be done to achieve them.

Task prioritization is different from time management because it’s not just about wisely allocating your time. It’s also about understanding which tasks are most important and need to be given priority.

There are a few ways to prioritize your tasks:

  • Consider the goals of the organization. What needs to be done to achieve them?
  • Understand the importance of each task. What is the impact of each task on the organization?
  • Consider the urgency of each task. What is the timeline for each task?

Stress Management

Stress management is also critical for leaders. It can be challenging to focus and be productive when you are under stress. Leaders need to find ways to manage their stress to not interfere with their work.

There are a few ways to manage stress:

  • Exercise regularly. This will help to release tension and improve your overall well-being.
  • Get enough sleep. This will help you to feel rested and refreshed so that you can handle stress more effectively.
  • Eat healthy foods. This will help to improve your energy levels and mood, making it easier to handle stress.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. This will help you avoid burnout and stay refreshed so that you can continue to be productive.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the final pillar for growth and productivity. Leaders need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and understand how they impact their work. Having self-awareness allows you to make changes to become more effective.

There are a few ways to develop self-awareness:

  • Take personality assessments. This will help you understand your personality type and how you respond to stress.
  • Observe yourself in the workplace. This will help you understand how others perceive you and identify areas where you need to improve.
  • Talk to others about your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you get feedback and see things from a different perspective.

Following these five pillars of growth and productivity will help you succeed in your career. By focusing on time management, goal setting, task prioritization, stress management, and self-awareness, you can reach your full potential as a leader.

Finding and Solving Problems in the Workplace

Most people would rather avoid complex problems. They’re hard, take time and effort to solve, and there’s no guarantee of success. But that’s where the real progress is made.

Complex problems are the ones that demand our attention. They force us to think deeply, to come up with new ideas and solutions. And if we persevere, we can often find success where others have failed.

Problems in the workplace can be a significant distraction and decrease productivity. It’s essential to identify these problems and fix them as soon as possible. Some common problems in the workplace include:

Poor communication

Poor communication is one of the biggest problems in the workplace. It can lead to misunderstandings, conflict, and decreased productivity.

There are a few things you can do to improve communication in your workplace:

  • Ensure everyone is aware of the communication channels that are being used, and make sure everyone is using them correctly.
  • Make sure all communications are clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or complex language that may be misunderstood.
  • When communicating with someone face-to-face, make sure to use body language and facial expressions to convey your message.
  • Take the time to listen to what the other person is saying, and ask questions if you don’t understand.

Confusion over roles and responsibilities

Confusion over roles and responsibilities is another common problem in the workplace. This can lead to conflict, decreased productivity, and other issues.

There are a few things you can do to fix this problem:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Make sure everyone is clear on what is expected of them.
  • If there is any confusion, ask questions until you understand.
  • Clarify who is responsible for what tasks, and make sure everyone follows through on their responsibilities.

Conflict resolution

Conflict is a normal part of life. It can arise in any relationship, whether with a friend, family member, or co-worker. When conflict arises, it’s essential to address it head-on and work to resolve it as quickly as possible.

There are a few things you can do to help resolve conflict:

  • Talk to the other person about what’s going on. Be honest and open, and listen to what they have to say.
  • Try to stay calm and avoid getting angry. Anger can cloud our judgment and make it difficult to resolve the conflict.
  • Don’t blame the other person for the conflict. Blaming someone will only make the situation worse.
  • Work together to find a middle ground. Life is about give and take.

Lack of trust

Lack of trust is a common problem in the workplace. This can lead to conflict, decreased productivity, and other issues.

There are a few things you can do to fix this problem:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of the importance of trust. Trust is essential for any relationship, whether with a friend, family member, or co-worker.
  • Make sure everyone understands what trust means and how it should be used. Trust should never be given lightly – it must be earned.
  • When someone breaks your trust, don’t react hastily. Take some time to calm down and think about what happened. Talk to the other person about what happened and try to resolve it.
  • Don’t gossip

If these problems are not addressed, they can lead to employee turnover, low morale, and even legal disputes. Employers must create a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable communicating openly. By doing so, employers can often find success where others have failed. Identify where you may have problems in your workplace, and don’t be afraid to spend time tackling them.

How To Be an Effective Online Communicator

Most people would agree that in-person meetings are the best way to communicate. But what if we remove in-person meetings from the equation? Can we still have effective communication? Has the technology that allows us to stay safe at home slowed our growth as individuals?


In an online environment, communication is accessible to everyone. It also allows more people to work. In a virtual work environment, employees can get their work done from anywhere in the world that they have access to a computer and the Internet. They don’t have to worry about the commute or if there’s bad weather at home because of where they live. Some people can’t commute or don’t want to because they might be caring for family members, etc.


It’s also good for the company’s bottom line because it reduces overhead costs. Instead of needing office space and supplies, the company only needs a reliable internet connection and maybe a chat system if employees aren’t all in the same place. It also allows the company to hire people living in more expensive areas without having to pay so much. One of the impacts of COVID-19 was that it affected commercial real estate investors. For years, this was one of the best investments you could make. But now people are not so interested in buying commercial property anymore.


As we live in this new world, businesses have had to change the way they work. There are more jobs where people can work from home. Bosses are wondering how they should rate and evaluate their employees. Additionally, how do we communicate with virtual employees? This is not the same as communicating with co-workers in an office.


For example, can you tell when someone does not understand what you are saying over text? Can you hear the tone, inflections, and pauses while they are typing? How do we know if our words are being understood correctly if there is no body language to help?


The main problem with online communication is that we try to use the same rules as if we were meeting someone face-to-face. This does not make sense because people cannot see each other. We are playing the same game as before, with new rules to follow. It’s important to figure out new rules for communicating with people online.


The first rule is to be brief. We cannot use body language, so we have to say as little as possible. When we write long-winded e-mails, our readers lose interest. There is a danger that the long e-mail you just sent can be received in a negative way. The reader could interpret the e-mail as speaking down to them or dictating to someone how to do their job. We know that people want to add their own input. Give your team some space to do that.


Next, you need to distinguish cues from written or verbal content without the aid of nonverbal cues. When speaking in person, the listener takes in cues not only from what you say but also from your voice tone and facial expressions. When you use an online medium to communicate, nonverbal content is lost. The listener has no idea how you are actually reacting or feeling about what they are saying or even if it sounds like there is anger in your tone of voice. While some words carry meaning by themselves, there are other words that have different inflections, varying tones, or facial expressions, which each have their own separate meanings. Avoid using words with more than one meaning or words that can be taken out of context.


There are many social cues that are given in person but not online. For example, through the use of body language, one can see whether or not someone is comfortable with what they are saying or how they are reacting to it. The tone of the person’s voice can show if they are angry or not on board with the idea that has been proposed in a virtual meeting.


The best thing you can do is be hyper-vigilant of what people are saying and how they are saying it. If you are not sure what someone means, ask them. You can also express your point of view in writing by responding to the person’s post rather than trying to explain yourself directly to them. If your written words are too long or complicated, it may be difficult for people on the other end to understand what you’re saying and how you truly feel. (See above section about the dreaded long-written e-mail).


We also want to make sure that other people are actually reading what we say because it’s easy to ignore someone when you’re typing, but not as much if the person is standing right in front of you. One easy way to do this is by using emoticons; however, some online communication software doesn’t support them, and it can sometimes come across as unprofessional to some people.


There is also the issue of body language, which we talked about earlier. We all know that we convey information with our body language, and it helps us understand each other and what someone else is really trying to say to us. But how much does this affect online communication? Do people pick up on the same cues online as in-person?


Based on research, not much body language is conveyed in written communication. Another study showed that using e-mail decreased the odds of developing friendships. It also found that people writing e-mails were less likely to ask for favors, which can be seen as rude. This is due to the lack of body language and tone of voice when we type on a computer or phone.
Essentially, when we work remotely, we see a decrease in organizational citizenship behavior. Additionally, when people communicate in an e-mail style, it doesn’t provoke someone to act positively.


Some of the most effective ways to communicate online are by video conferencing or just talking on the phone. It’s easier for people to read your tone over video than if you’re only typing words back and forth. Another thing that can help is to ask questions instead of just constantly sharing information.


For example, instead of constantly saying “please do this,” try asking your virtual team to “can you please complete this task?” It’s good practice to read the person’s social cues, tone, and body language in-person, but online it takes more effort.
If you ask a question, the other person is more likely to respond because you’re giving them power over the situation. Interactions with others can be particularly challenging online, so it’s important to pay close attention to each of your words.
In my experience, I have found that calling people individually or doing a meeting with the whole team is a good way to keep people engaged. Instead of planning a meeting to discuss whatever the next big project is, just plan it as a weekly or daily ‘check-in.’ This gives your team members the ability to communicate their issues in a setting that isn’t directed at assigning them the next task. People can feel overwhelmed when they’re given too many tasks at once, which results in less motivation and decreased productivity. It’s almost like writer’s block where people don’t want to write anymore because they’re stuck thinking about all the other things they had to do that day.


Removing in-person meetings from the equation can reduce trust and communication quickly among employees who don’t know each other too well. You can learn about your teammates just by doing a quick Google search or visiting their Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn page. Doing so offers some insight into what is important to them, and sometimes you might find out they share the same passions as you.


In conclusion, while it is true that body language and tone of voice are not as easily conveyed in written communication, this does not mean that online communication is ineffective. In fact, there are many ways to effectively communicate online. You just need to be aware of the differences between in-person and digital communication. Additionally, it is important to remember that when people communicate through e-mail or other written methods, they are less likely to act positively or ask for help. So before sending an e-mail or writing a message on social media, take a moment to think about how your words will be interpreted.