By John Hinman, Managing Director with Nexus 5 Group
Have you ever heard, “That's not my job” at your company? Do you hear this often? Are you the one that is saying it? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, I recommend this “world class” book for you.
The Little Red Hen, originally printed in 1954.
If you haven't read The Little Red Hen, it's a simple story of a hen asking her friends for help. Over and over, they say no. The book goes on and the hen keeps asking for help and her friends continue to say no. At the end, the hen ends up with a mouth watering loaf of freshly baked bread. Everyone wants to eat it... And the hen then says no and eats the bread all by herself!
So what's the message here? Well, one message is, you become who you hang out with.
The hen became selfish because her friends were being selfish. If unchecked, you become the culture that you swim in. If you are in a culture like this, I challenge you to stand up and be an agent of change. Lead by example, be helpful, friendly and put others first.
As you can see in the pictures, we had a bit of fun with this book. Joking around and sitting like kids (criss-cross, apple sauce, spoons in the bowl) while I read the book. However, even in the joking, the message was clear and discussion followed.
At Nexus 5 Group, we like to have fun and try not to take ourselves too seriously. You will not hear “That's not my job” at this company. If you did, it would sound like a bull horn in a library. It would be way out of place. Culture is incredibly important and we work on our culture daily. We focus on our N5 Experience, which puts others first. And we are always willing to help, knowing that tomorrow it may be our team that needs the help. This mindset is contagious.
I know this may be a bit simple minded to suggest a children’s book for business strategy, but sometimes the simple lessons sink in the deepest. Take a good look at our current culture, city and country where we live. Sometimes, it seems that we've forgotten some of the simple principles in life, like being helpful and kind. The good news? You can do your part to impact the relationships in your personal and professional life in a positive way. If enough people think and act this way, it will make all the difference. And sometimes, your example might be the catalyst for that change in your company and in your family.