The pursuit of personal and professional growth often leads us to moments of change and self-discovery.
Recently, I caught up with Nikos Psaltopoulos, a C-suite leader and disruptor, who has embarked on a new chapter in his career and life. Having worked all over the world, Nikos knows a thing or two about creating teams and cultures that thrive. Together, we explored the key ingredients necessary to cultivate a dynamic and positive culture within organisations, highlighting the significance of trust, respect, and genuine listening.
Below, Nikos shares the four critical elements that he sees both individuals and organisations need in order to drive a strong culture, and continue to navigate the changes and challenges that are thrown at us.
Culture: The foundation everything else is built on:
Culture is a foundational element of any successful organisation. Nikos shares insights into the vital ingredients that he sees are needed to drive a dynamic and positive culture. Respect and trust are highlighted as fundamental components that create an environment where talent can really flourish. Building a culture that nurtures its people, encourages experimentation, and embraces authenticity are more able to foster openness, transparency, and vulnerability. Culture is like the blood pumping through the veins that keeps the Organisation alive - you can’t see it, but if it's not healthy, the organisation isn’t healthy.
Values: The Northern Star of an Organisation:
The significance of values in shaping an organisation's culture cannot be overstated. For Nikos, this is KEY. Values must get beyond stickers on the wall, or images on Company coffee cups; leaders and team members need to embody and uphold the values consistently in order for them to truly have meaning and drive positive change.
My conversations with Nikos are always insightful, but in particular one of the things that I recognise he continues to stand strong on, is the importance of working with and in organisations where there is a true values alignment. If that is not there, it is very difficult to truly feel ‘at home’.
The Power of Trust and Listening:
We know that Trust is critical inside organisations - we hear and read this often. But, what does that actually mean? For Nikos, when trust and respect are fostered within an organisation, team members feel safe, and this means they are able to truly unlock their full potential. But, how do we build trust? Leaders need to be mindful of their words and actions, consistently demonstrating their commitment to the values and vision of the organisation. Nikos believes that encouraging a culture of listening, where individuals feel genuinely heard and understood, further allows trust and respect to permeate through.
Words to your younger self:
Throughout our conversation, Nikos reflects on his career journey and highlights two crucial pieces of advice he would give to his younger self.
- The first is to believe people when they show you who they are. Recognising and accepting the true nature of individuals, whether positive or negative, helps save time and prevent heartache.
- The second piece of advice is to back yourself fully. Embracing self-confidence and taking calculated risks is essential for personal and professional growth. Recognising the limited time we have on this planet, it is important to seize opportunities and not let fear or self-doubt hold us back.
We know that change is a given in life, and we know that things like trust, respect, and a healthy culture are essential for us to thrive as humans. Creating a positive and empowering environment starts with leaders who can demonstrate authenticity, actively listen, and consistently embody the organisation's values. We ALL have the capacity to be leaders should we choose to be - we need to lead ourselves first, in order to lead others effectively. Let’s start there.
Does your Organisation have a game plan to support and grow its top talent?
If not, reach out to me. I help Organisations retain their high-flyers, and empower new ones to thrive. Let’s chat.