I am currently reading a book by Simon Sinek called Leaders Eat Last. In the book, Simon talks about the circle of safety and how it works. He focuses specifically on leadership and how we create a circle of safety for our team.
In ancient Greece, the Spartans, most famous from the story and movie made about the 300, carried many pieces of equipment, but none was more important than their shield. Losing a helmet or a breastplate was one thing, but losing a shield was unacceptable as the shield was designed to protect the many, not just the one.
How often do we employ this methodology in our businesses? Do we create an environment where we look out for one another and have each other’s backs, no matter the situation? I think that we know the answer and that leads to my point and the point that Simon makes in his book.
By providing a circle of safety for our employees, we are providing an environment in which they can thrive. In this environment, they can trust, they can think freely, and they will not only cooperate but rather collaborate. This is why trust is so important and a safe environment drives trust more than anything else.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the most progressive businesses and their cultures. Sure, they have high expectations and there is pressure to perform, but they create alignment, drive trust, and develop a culture of candor. Working in this environment is much more fulfilling than a company where there are politics, water cooler talk, and internal competition.
How do we get there? Easy, but not easy. It takes a commitment to establish a strong culture that is based on the right values and then the work comes in to reinforce the behaviors that are necessary to achieve the culture. Think about it. Wouldn’t you prefer to work somewhere where you are set up to succeed? The answer is a resounding yes!