August 11, 2020

115: Send the Right Signals to Your Team with Kit Krugman

You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “do as I say, not as I do.” Unfortunately, when it comes to building a healthy team culture, how you act as a manager is significantly more important than the mission, vision or values you espouse. We must ‘walk our talk’ to ensure our team members see and feel our values, in addition to hearing them.

In this episode, I speak with Kit Krugman. Kit is the Head of Organization + Culture Design at co:collective and the former President of WIN:Women in Innovation.

Kit and I talk about the difference between story-telling and story-doing, the power of simply asking, a culture of psychological safety, the idea of being on a quest, and so much more.

Become a member of The Modern Manager Community to be entered to win a free coaching call with Kit Krugman. In addition, you’ll be entered to win a collective mindset report worth $1,500. This report provides you with information on the quality of your current culture and mental lenses of the leaders and employees. You must be a member by September 1st to qualify for both drawings. To learn more about membership, go to

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Read the related blog article: Are You Sending The Wrong Signals To Your Team?

Key Takeaways:

  • The story you tell about your company mission, vision and values is only as powerful as the actions that follow it. That is ‘story-doing’ instead of story-telling.
  • When actions don’t align with espoused values, people read the signals and follow what the leadership role models, incentives, and rewards.
  • Reflect on your own behaviors. Are you acting how you expect others to act?
  • Engage your team members in the conversation. What do they want to do? Ask for their feedback and input rather than dictating to them.
  • In order to get honest input and feedback, there must be psychological safety. To develop that trust, ask for critical feedback and take it without being defensive. If you respond negatively, you undermine that psychological safety.
  • Explore what makes you defensive? Get to know yourself and what triggers an emotional response.
  • Prepare to hear critical feedback and to accept it without a defensive or emotional response. Pause to let the emotion pass, say thank you and that you want time to consider it and/or ask for guidance on how to improve.
  • Set your company on a quest that is larger than your products, services, and goals. Establish a Northstar to guide your work that inspires people and opens up possibilities. Create a mission for your team that contributes to that quest.
  • Culture is always a competitive advantage. Culture is about engagement, productivity, attracting and retaining talent.
  • Managers must create a sense of community within their team, especially during this time of physical distancing. Over communicate, invest more time in relationship building individually and collectively.
  • When times are uncertain, people will create their own narrative if you don’t tell them the story. Create the narrative and live into it.


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