Kyle McDowell is a best-selling author, speaker and business leadership expert. After nearly thirty years with an incredibly impressive and successful corporate career, McDowell has committed to following what he believes is his life’s calling – ridding Corporate America of its toxic ways. Using his principles, The 10 WEs, as the foundation of his bestselling book, Begin With WE – 10 Principles for Building and Sustaining a Culture of Excellence, McDowell is creating a community of leaders that are obsessed with curing many of the dysfunctional characteristics that have infiltrated the cultures of so many companies around the globe. “A principle is a foundational belief that we hold to be true. And the only way to build a team that is less focused on individual accolades and driven by the team’s macro success – where everyone benefits – is to align around a series of stated principles, like The 10 WEs.”
Here’s a look at five of the ten principles he’s successfully weaved into organizations with thousands of employees.
#1: WE do the right thing. Always.
The right thing isn’t always easy to determine and is usually not the easiest path, but it’s the only path to get people to rally behind you consistently and authentically. Accepting anything other than the right thing, even once, is a slippery slope, compromising your brand and integrity.
#2: WE lead by example.
Leading by example creates a standard by which the team, peers, and even the boss inherently measure themselves. Those in authority are constantly under a microscope, and others emulate their behavior, whether good or bad. Leaders must ensure their behavior is worth replicating.
#3: WE say what we’re going to do. Then WE do it.
In any team environment, others are counting on team members to do what they say they’re going to do. Building trust, from the perspective of the team and client, requires commitment and follow-through. Real teams don’t let each other down.
#4: WE Take Action. Taking action and making a mistake is ok. Being idle is not.
Risk and innovation are key to any organization’s success, which means the team must feel safe to explore new ideas. Only with that foundation of safety will the team take bold action. Mistakes will come from taking action to improve—and that’s okay. Nothing comes from sitting idle. “In short,” McDowell says, “See something, do something.”
#5: WE own our mistakes.
McDowell had this to say about mistakes. “You’re not judged by making mistakes. You’re judged by how quickly you can correct it.” McDowell continues, “If you expect team members to take action, you must also expect mistakes. Humans screw up—it’s a given, so accept it. We don’t accept hiding or covering them up. Mistakes are an opportunity to improve objectively. The key is to allow for mistakes, identify the correct path of remediation, and ensure the mistake occurs only once.”
About Kyle McDowell
Kyle McDowell is an author, speaker, and leadership coach with nearly three decades of experience leading tens of thousands of employees for some of the biggest companies in the US. With an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Kyle is widely known for his inspiring approaches to leadership, transforming bosses into leaders and reshaping corporate cultures. You can learn more by following McDowell on all socials @KyleMcDowellInc and his website, KyleMcDowellInc.com.