You can't improve company culture without measuring it

Learn out-of-this-world leadership skills from astronauts | practice (split each time) | You can't improve company culture without measuring it
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February 28, 2024
SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading the Way
Learn out-of-this-world leadership skills from astronauts
Astronauts must be skilled in self-regulation to work well with others in confined spaces where stress can be high almost always, says psychologist Suzanne Bell, who leads the Behavioral Health and Performance Lab at NASA. Leaders should seek to develop astronaut traits such as emotional regulation, adaptability, teamwork, flexibility, a dedication to self-care and connection with social support systems, Bell notes.
Full Story: Psychology Today (2/21) 
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Put it into practice: Leaders can improve teamwork by developing empathy, seeing things from others' points of view and monitoring how they relate with others, Bell notes. "Self-care is managing your health and readiness in order to be a part of the team and to contribute to the mission."
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SmartBrief on Leadership
You can't improve company culture without measuring it
(BrianAJackson/Getty Images)
Improve your company culture by clearly defining the behaviors you expect, such as listening, communicating openly, being on time or helping others, then using a mechanism to measure them, says S. Chris Edmonds, the executive consultant with The Purposeful Culture Group. Edmonds outlines an employee survey tool to rate leaders on cultural behavior that can be used to develop improvement plans.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (2/27) 
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Put it into practice: Edmonds outlines a tool his company uses that rates leaders' behaviors on a scale from 1 to 6, with anything below a 4 requiring intervention and improvement. The system is only effective when expected behaviors are clearly communicated and aligned with company values.
Read more from S. Chris Edmonds on SmartBrief on Leadership
Top workplace trends to watch
In 2024, employers who want to succeed need to prioritize their organization's most important asset: its people. To help in strategic planning efforts and get you to the heart of what will matter most to workplaces, we conducted a global survey of 300+ respondents to uncover this year's five most influential workplace trends. Download the Report.
Smarter Communication
When trying to build solid business relationships, Shari Harley suggests reaching out to a potential partner at least three times and if there is no response or meetings keep getting canceled, walk away. "Don't chase people. The people who are interested in fostering a good working relationship will make the time and be willing to be uncomfortable," Harley writes.
Full Story: Candid Culture (2/25) 
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Put it into practice: When reaching out to business partners, offer to have conversations on how they like to communicate or talk about what's working and what's not -- anything to boost the working relationship, writes Harley, but don't be annoying. "You are not the Golden Retriever of the workplace. Nor are you the 7-11 -- always open."
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In Their Own Words
Morial: Bring diverse people together by listening
Morial (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Marc Morial, the president and CEO of the National Urban League, learned early in life that as a Black man he would have to work twice as hard to succeed, a philosophy that allowed him to follow in his father's footsteps to become the mayor of New Orleans, where he got to use his skills bringing diverse people together. "It's about being strong enough to assert and defend but also being wise enough to listen and modify if you must. That is my thing -- you have to learn how to listen and see things and modify when the moment is right," says Morial.
Full Story: LinkedIn (2/22) 
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Daily Diversion
Investor takes $3M gamble on box of hockey player cards
Gretzky (Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
You might call it a case of "Schrodinger's Gretzky" -- an anonymous investor has purchased an unopened box containing 100,000 1979-80 professional hockey cards for $3.1 million on the chance that there could be up to 27 Wayne Gretzky rookie cards within, which could fetch up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each. A Canadian man, cleaning out his attic, came upon the box from the now-defunct O-Pee-Chee candy and trading card brand.
Full Story: BBC (2/26) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Not gonna lie, I didn't know Isabella Baumfree by the name she adopted later in her life, which was what?
VoteLily Ann Granderson
VoteMaria Stewart
VoteHarriet Beecher Stowe
VoteSojourner Truth
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
I had a "no chasing" rule when I led my spiritual community. If new people came and gave us their information, we'd reach out three times, and if there was no response or they did not return, we stopped. I had the same rule with folks who attended regularly and then stopped. We reached out to check on them, and if there was no response after several attempts, we stopped.

I have heard that some people like to be "chased" -- especially by spiritual communities -- but, like Shari Harley writes, at some point, you have to conserve your time and energy for those who are already open to building a relationship with you or your company.

Pay attention to the people in the room -- or the customers you already have -- instead of chasing someone who is clearly not genuinely interested.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want it?
Toni Morrison,
writer, editor, educator, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
February is Black History Month
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