Over the years, I’ve returned time and time again to one key question: Does great culture drive open-book management or does open-book management drive great culture? As a leader, I’ve done my due diligence investigating the answer and, after much careful thought and research (and some trial and error), I’ve learned that, for my company, culture had to come first.
“I love JoAnne dearly. I love her vision and her passion, and my role in this company is really to make that come to fruition.”
Laurie Shaw is one half of the woman-powered leadership team at Coffee Beanery, a chain of specialty coffee shops with near 100 locations throughout the U.S. and internationally. As the company’s COO and Integrator, Laurie works in harmony with JoAnne Shaw, who co-founded Coffee Beanery in 1976 with her husband, Julius Shaw. JoAnne is not only the Visionary to Laurie’s Integrator, she’s also Laurie’s mother-in-law.
You have an awesome couple of weeks. Things are humming along. You make a couple (maybe many) big decisions. Buzz buzz, humm humm, you and your team are jamming.
One of the decisions (a really big one), is trickier, you have a strong reaction to it, but it's way easier to go for it, and you want to assume good, and others are a "yes", so you do...
You go against your gut (big time). You override. And in that very moment, you whack yourself out of alignment with your personal integrity. (You likely feel this, though subtle, until your brain and reasoning kicks in, making it A-Okay.)
And then oddly... maybe not even right away... things start to go down the tubes. One thing after another falls apart. Gets "hard". Muddy. Sludge. Ugh.
You make more bad decisions.
I’ve spent my entire life learning to build trust. As I grew up, my mom faced significant mental illness, so I learned first-hand how isolating life can be when trust is absent. Over time, I learned to cope with and, after much healing, eventually overcome these challenges. As a business leader, I’ve always been tuned into the telltale signs of mistrust. Frankly, I just can’t bear it when employees get stuck in these toxic patterns. For me, it’s personal.