Tag Archives: Management Excellence

5 quotes on corporate culture

Corporate culture is a term used to describe the beliefs, values, and processes that provide a company with its own unique flavor and attitude. It’s really about the attitude of everyone involved with the organization. Here are some nuggets of wisdom to share with your team.

“To be an enduring, great company, you have to build a mechanism for preventing or solving problems that will long outlast any one individual leader.” ― Howard Schultz

“A company’s culture is often buried so deeply inside rituals, assumptions, attitudes, and values that it becomes transparent to an organization’s members only when, for some reason, it changes.” – Rob Goffee

“If every day at work feels like a Friday, then you are doing what you were meant to do.” 
― Alan W. Kennedy

“The word attitude doesn’t mean you should be committed and loyal to your supervisor. Attitude means dedicated, committed and more clinical to the work you do and the company you’re doing the work for.” 
― Vivek Thangaswamy

Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” – Peter F. Drucker


Does your leader have heart?

leadership keyNo one really leaves a job just because they have found a better opportunity or better pay. The number one reason people leave is because they fail to connect with their bosses as leaders and as people.  Think about it. Most people in their careers can share in this experience. Although missteps can happen, the best leaders strive to make their actions consistent with the philosophy of having an engaged and excited team.

I interviewed Cameron McNeill, owner of MAC Marketing Solutions, on what it means to lead. Here’s what Cameron said on this subject: ‘As a leader, I am constantly challenging myself to think about my team’s enjoyment in their career with my company. There is one test we have- when people wake up in the morning, are they excited about working with our company?  If they aren’t excited then I have failed. This philosophy is the driving spirit within our business and permeates all levels of the company. It boils down to two things: every person is driven by different circumstances, and you, the leader, must care about each individual as a fellow family member in the context of the vision of the company. Everyone then looks after each other and their collective well-being. It is hard to create this and impossible to fake. No marketing team could ever produce this spirit. It requires champions big and small to express this in an individual way. It is done with a common set of core values that everyone knows. They all know which way they are going and are pulling in the same direction. I never stop thinking about nor ever get tired of saying, “when you wake up in the morning…” ’.

And this theme is true with every executive of some of the top Canadian business’s I’ve had the pleasure to know. An effective leader lives and breathes the company’s core values. They obsess over the clarity of these core values. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Repeat. Repeat and repeat.

The best leaders have tremendous passion for what they do. Yet they operate with a level of genuine humility and with the sole purpose of their company’s welfare.  It’s not about them, rather, it’s about the company as a whole. These leaders protect their teams aligned with their vision at all costs. Lose your core team and you lose the heart and soul of the company.

Manage by Wandering Around

Okay managers, time to get out from behind your desk, and start wandering around. When you walk around you learn things but most importantly you get on the same level as the rest of your team by doing this basic step.

Here is a quick video on Tom Peters recounting the day he stumbled onto MBWA.  You might just want to MBWA. Get out from behind your desk. Try it. See how it feels and the results you get.

Called To Coach And Lead The Team

Tina Del Buono of Practical Practice Management shares some worthy leadership advice. Enjoy the read.

Practical Practice Management

Whether it is called coaching, managing, or supervising if it is not done with the   right persons in mind, then maybe the person doing it shouldn’t do it at all.

That may sound pretty harsh, but let’s think it through before making any critical judgments.

The “manager” works under someone, perhaps a supervisor or the business owner.  They have been entrusted to instruct, guide and inspire those that they oversee.  It is what the job description states, and it is what is expected.

Three small words, but three difficult tasks for several reasons;

1. Instruct:  Not all people learn the same or at the same speed.  Communication during training may require different teaching methods to get everyone on the same playing field and understanding what the game plan is.  Some players may catch on quickly and others may take longer.  Instructing then is not a “one size fits all”…

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Is being the smartest person in the room getting in the way of your growth as a leader?

Mike Desjardins of ViRTUS shares some valuable advice. Enjoy the read.

Some thoughts on strategy, leadership, and corporate culture.

I can remember back to the first business I ran: I was new to a leadership role and everyday I realized how much more I didn’t know about people and how to lead. One of my key learnings was a few techniques that actually helped give me the freedom and flexibility to focus on my strengths.

It started one day when I realized that almost every customer service decision in the business had to flow through me in some way. Now of course, this helped me keep a pulse on everything that was happening with our customers but it was a trap that I slide right into. Everyone just assumed the easiest thing to do was “just check with Mike.”

Here’s what I learned: when every decision had to flow through me, no one learned and my day was filled with solving problems with no time left to focus on…

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Sweet Sixteen

On the 23rd of September 1996, Sarah McNeill and Cheryl Nakamoto founded McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group, affectionately known as McNak. Recently, I met with Sarah and Cheryl separately to ask about the road they have traveled these past 16 years. Interesting how in sync these two are.

Congratulations on 16 successful years. How does it feel?

Sarah:  I think I love McNak more with every passing year. It truly only gets better!

Cheryl:  Pretty incredible given most partnerships don’t endure the test of time.  We have been able to create a strong brand and have lots of fun doing it!

What was your vision for McNak when you started in September 1996?

Sarah: To stand out in the vast sea of staffing agencies and provide the best staffing experiences for our customers.

Cheryl:  To be a great recruitment firm in terms of getting the RIGHT FIT from the onset. Also, an agency that cares equally about exceeding the expectations of our clients as well as the candidates. Having been a candidate at one point I know the struggles of looking for work and having some compassion – care to treat them with respect was top on my list.

Regarding business partnership, how do you ‘make it work’?

Sarah:  Cheryl and I are very different people with complimentary skill sets. We make a perfect yin/yang partnership. And we share a love for fun and for seeing the ‘glass half full’.

Cheryl: Really listening to each other and playing to each others’ strengths then trusting the other to make the right choices when implementing decisions that were made jointly.  Not acting unilaterally without consideration for the other.

You are very successful entrepreneurs. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in business now?

Sarah:  It’s a shark tank out there. Put your best ideas forward and hire the best people to execute your plan.

Cheryl:  Have passion for what you are wanting to accomplish otherwise it becomes too difficult to push through those tough times.  You need to know it’s going to be hard work and some long hours and seek out help in areas where you know you need direction.

Why is Corporate Culture important?

Sarah:  Without corporate culture the business is just a machine with no soul. The best employees want to be a more of something greater than just the product or service.  We wanted to create even just 10% of what the best brands have with their teams in terms of corporate culture.

Cheryl: Corporate culture is so important in that is defines the company.  With the enormous growth around using social media, corporate culture is even more important now.  People can get a sense of your culture and share this information with others, make opinions quickly and you are even more “exposed” to the public.  Brand and corporate culture are so closely tied together.  If you build a strong corporate culture then it can attract and help to retain top talent!

How do you make it FUN to work at McNak?

Sarah:  We embrace our inner quirks and let others do the same. It’s never ‘just another day’ at the office.

Cheryl:  We laugh at least 10 times a day…I just laughed at a joke right now with my team!  We harness and embrace all our inner quirks and it makes it a fun place to work!

What’s next for McNak?

Sarah:  To always remain true to our original McNak vision and to keep having fun!

Cheryl: Excited about building in our 2 areas of expertise- Finance and Real Estate and a new partnership formed that will allow us to offer Global Recruitment to our clients.

photo credit: bookgrl

Workplace Culture – Surprising Truths Revealed in Survey

Culture. It’s what we at McNak think about with every recruit we take on. Culture is such a big part of why new hires stick; a perfect piece in a complex puzzle.  This Inc. article reveals some surprising truths behind perceptions of executives and employees. Some wise words are shared that give pause to think about our own organizations and how we perceive culture.

For those that must know the survey results now, click here.


photo credit: Jason Hargrove