Leadership Culture

At a recent National Leadership Forum, Tim Elmore posed this question: are you developing a cult or a culture? 

A cult is devoted to one leader that is the instigator of all change. A culture, on the other hand, is an environment. In that culture, there is a contagious response of students to think and act like authentic leaders. Change then can be instigated by any of these leaders. 

What does it take to build a culture?

1. Shared Values
The mistake of most organizations is to make a list of values and then none of the actions of the organization exemplify those values. So, when defining your values, put a list of actions next to each value to illustrate how your group is living out that value. For example, if relationships with not yet believers is a value, make a list of the ways you will build those relationships from taking out dorm trash, coffee house nights, study breaks, intentionally introducing yourself to those in class with you, etc. These program activities will assist you in building those relationships. Try to also include items that show building relationships as a typical life action and not just a special program.

2. Shared Customs
What are the customs that define you as a group, as a BSM? Make sure these customs welcome newcomers and don't exclude them. As students become part of the customs, they embrace the culture you are building.

3. Shared Language
Language will help to target the focus of your BSM. A statement of who you are and why you exist should be shared out loud and very often at your gatherings. This helps all the leaders to speak the same language and to focus the thoughts and activities of group members. 

These three components can help you build a culture that will develop leaders and help you accomplish your mission.



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