[March 01, 2014] Senior leadership is hard. One of the most challenging things for executive leaders to do is to keep a positive work culture. Fundamentally, organizational core values will play a key role in this work culture. When we consider a positive work culture and core values together, we call it “spiritual health.”
This is rarely addressed and thus discussed here as a “must have” conversation for senior leaders.
Advice of senior leaders is an opportunity that should be grasped quickly and with thanks. “If you fail to maintain the spiritual health of the Corps, you will have failed as the … commandant;” so stated a U.S. Marine Corps past-commandant, one of the most senior and respected leaders in our military.
What the past-commandant was saying is that the spiritual health of the organization must be kept by guarding against doing those things that would bring discredit or disgrace to the individual or to the organization. Thus, employees (in this case U.S. Marines) are expected to follow the organizations core values.
Leaders help keep the “spiritual health” of the organization. This is not the religious spiritual health, although it could be. Melding core values with a positive culture is difficult and must be driven from the highest levels of the organization. Failure to drive it and support the effort from senior executive leaders will eventually lead to decline.