When deciding on your culture ambassadors from your team, keep in mind that it’s not always the highest performing team members who work together the best. Culture ambassadors within a team are the people who have the most influence, inspire the rest of the team and collaborate between everybody the best. They may not have performed the best throughout the year and achieved the best results within the team. But they have inspired the team to achieve the best results because they are leaders within the team. Remember, the most influential and inspirational are your ambassadors.
Culture ambassadors are the people within your team who can help you take the team and the organisation on a transformational journey. They are the leaders within your team, and leaders are learners, so they will be the ones who learn the most and share what they learn.
They are the leaders within your team who can see your vision in the same way you can and will help you share that vision with the rest of the team. They are the leaders within your team who will leverage your influence and take responsibility when needed on your behalf.
So, it is very important that you decide who your culture ambassadors are now so you can start the culture transformation journey now. Do not wait on this.
The more you learn about your people, you will start to see that with people in general, things that are brushed off as usually not an issue are really the big issues. Then the things that are described as the bigger issues, usually aren’t.
The little issues that are really the big issues can either be a negative thing or a positive thing. So, that’s why usually leaders overlook these little (big) issues because their people don’t want them being an issue for them too.
This is just human nature not to burden others with our problems. But, as a leader it is our responsibility to help our people solve their problems, not solve them for them.
As you grow as a leader and you develop your character, you will start to see this a lot more as you help them develop their character too.
As you share leadership development content with your team, e.g., books, be sure to follow up with them. Be sure to find out how they feel and think about the content. You will need to know this because you are deciding who your culture ambassadors are and this is a great way of helping you make that decision.
2. Culture Ambassador Decision
They will be the ones to help you lead the change of culture, help you in developing themselves and the team, and ultimately move into the rest of the organisation to transform as a whole. You should ask their opinion of who they think should be the culture ambassadors too.
Make the decision on your culture ambassadors as a team. Involving the team in this decision will show them how much you care about them, their ideas and opinions.
Ask them how much they enjoyed the content you share too and if they have any ideas or opinions on how it can be improved…always good topics for a debate.
In most organisations throughout the world, the culture ambassadors or the one to lead the culture transformation are usually the leaders at the top. But this won’t be the case with you because you know the best people to lead this are you and the leaders within your team.
When you finalise who your culture ambassadors are, at first your decisions may surprise your team and even yourself. As I said earlier, culture ambassadors are not always the highest performing team members.
The reason for the surprise is because you have only just started sharing leadership development and personal growth material and creating the process.
If you have people in your team who are in management positions, you can’t automatically choose them as culture ambassadors. If they are good leaders and they lead, and influence yours and their own teams then yes, they will be a good choice.
But if they still manage people instead of leading them then they cannot be an ambassador. We cannot manage people; we can only lead them. So as their leader it is still your responsibility to get that message across to them.
It is your responsibility to advise them that they will not be culture ambassadors, and at the same time help them to change. Give them the support they need to grow from being a manager into a leader.
A good first step would be to share with them my first book, “Manager To Leader”.
There will probably be some “leaders” who are in higher positions than you and they will find out about you nominating culture ambassadors within your team.
They will probably try to overtake this initiative from you and want to be the culture ambassadors themselves because they think it should come from the top.
But you can’t let them, and you must stand your ground. Obviously don’t do anything that might get you demoted or even fired, but you need to share this message with them:
“When I have finalised my vision with my culture ambassadors, I will share it with you. If you want to be a part of our vision and help us transform our culture, then we will be happy for that help. But, if you don’t then we can’t have any negativity around us that might jeopardise what we are trying to achieve.”
You are not going to be able to get rid of these leaders completely, that is obvious, and you don’t want to. They will have valuable knowledge, experience, and power within the organisation that you can draw on to help you and your ambassadors on your culture journey.
But they cannot be leaders or ambassadors for you because they don’t have the right character. Character is most important in an ambassador and leader when it comes to a change like this.
4. The Burning Desire
Your culture ambassadors will be the people who have the burning desire to make this culture transformation happen. They want this because of you and how you have influenced and developed them.
So, that is why your culture ambassadors can’t always be people with leadership titles or positions. They must be the people within your team who have them most influence and can inspire others.
What is most important for a culture ambassador is that they are bought-in to the vision and the change from the very beginning. They don’t care if they don’t have the leadership title or position, and neither should you.
It is your responsibility to address your culture ambassadors as culture ambassadors to the rest of your team, and to the other teams and leaders within your organisation. Enabling the increase in visibility of your culture ambassadors to the rest of your organisation is very important.
A culture ambassador is all about the who the person is rather than what they are. A culture ambassador’s influence will increase no matter what job title they have. When increasing their influence, they will also be building or strengthening relationships with others within the organisation.
The increase of pride your culture ambassadors will feel will be so good. When working with others to implement your culture transformation, it will be a pleasure for them. It won’t even feel like work to them.
They have the burning desire to make this change for you, for themselves, for the team and for the organisation. You should even allow your culture ambassadors to carry out their own book studies in your example. This is another way of leveraging your influence and increasing their own even more.
Your culture ambassadors will be growing a reputation and it is your responsibility to help them grow it positively.
When you have your culture ambassadors, it is your opportunity to coach aswell as lead. It is their opportunity to lead you too which will build the momentum of your culture transformation.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,