Redefining Company Culture With the Power of Will

Redefining Company Culture With the Power of Will

Culture sounds like something on a petri dish—meet Will. Years ago, we had the opportunity as a leadership group to go to Gettysburg and learn for a day at the Army War College where Generals are taught. Walking the fields and recounting the decisions made and the business principles associated with those decisions was so powerful—especially when it was life and death and the fate of a nation on the line. Will is motivation. Will is a want to or an eager energy. If you want to win at anything, the formula is so simple. Means times Will equals outcome.

I can’t seem to get that big rock moved from point A to point B—very simple. I need enough people motivated to move it (Will) or enough money (means) to purchase the equipment or a combination (means times Will) to achieve that outcome. 

Will is company culture. Culture has become such a cliché word that I so much prefer WILL now. If I have the true Will to do something at the end of the day, I’m energized from doing it. Think about the tasks that give you energy and take energy away. You know if you do more of what gives you energy, then you can do even more of it and enjoy it and love it. People who love scuba diving don’t get tired of scuba diving! This is a true winwin productivity for employees and employers together. Hitler understood the power of will and used that power for unspeakable evil. Governments and businesses are similar in that they both are organizations that rely on people to accomplish things. How people use the power of Will determines the outcome. 

The Will of the people is powerful. Governments are overthrown by the Will of the people. Businesses are too, but rarely does anyone talk about or write books about those cases. It’s not as dramatic. It doesn’t happen quickly, but when your most motivated people leave, they do so one at a time. It takes years. By the time it happens, you are left with mostly only people who understand how to manage spreadsheets (Means) and a minority of people suffering who remember and are clinging to the Will that used to exist around them.

These companies find themselves paying more for things and not understanding why. Who do you get a better price from? The vendor you have treated with respect and dignity and now has the Will to want to work for you or the one who is only there because of your means? And yet, when I went to business college—business psychology was not taught—it was not a thing. You may be saying to yourself, “This sounds like employee manipulation. And I say to you, YES! 

Please, someone manipulate me to change my Will and mindset around cleaning my gutters—even just a little bit (maybe tell me to whistle some tunes while I’m doing it – or my wife flash me and make me smile!) and I will enjoy life a little more that day and have better family relationships and get more done that day.

One more. If you have ever had a five-year-old – what does the day feel like at the end of the day when you have to spend the day doing things that a 5-year-old hates? How much energy (Will) do you have left at the end of that day? What about a day at Disney World? On the day the 5yearold hates—let’s say you have to bring him to your work that day because you don’t have a choice. Do you try to find ways to make that day more fun for him? Why do you do this? Why do we not do the same for each other and the people in our care? It doesn’t have to make it fun for adults (although adults need more of that!) – it can make it purposeful – meaningful – playful- fellowship.

Why do underfunded small businesses succeed? Why do people want to work for companies where they are not compensated to market standards? Why do companies still fail at things that have all the capital they could ever need? Meet my friend WILL.