Leaders should think of their brand like a flag or a badge. A brand is a way to deliver a message that they want other people to absorb and embrace. And a big leadership lesson is that just because a message that you personally created resonates with you, it does not mean that it will resonate with others.
How do you make getting your employees to live out your brand and culture a “want-to-do” instead of a “supposed-to-do” for your team? Ruth Lund, President of the Legacy Center, Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative, and Ken Meyers, founder of the Smartfood brand, discuss how to successfully develop a culture of advocacy instead of a culture of compliance.
As Ken said, “You can write anything down, you can think anything up, but if it is not followed through on, if it is not really injected into the blood of the organization, such that it becomes a living, breathing mission, a living, breathing set of mile markers and guard rails, that everyone has absorbed internalized and cleaved to then it's up no real value.”
Where do brand and culture intersect? Ken Meyers, creator of the Smartfood popcorn brand, talked to Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point, and Ruth Lund, President of the Legacy Center, about culture as the credibility backing up a brand promise. Meyers thinks of brand as essentially a promise to the marketplace, to the prospect of constituents, and a company's culture is the credibility behind that promise. As Ken said, “you can say whatever you want to, but if your company's activities, behavior, and attitudes run counter to that brand promise, it's going to be seen, and it's going to chip away at the credibility behind what you're trying to get people to believe and follow.”
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