New Hope, PA. is one of my favorite places to go once the weather gets nice. It sits on the Delaware River across from Lambertville, NJ and it has this incredibly unique, eclectic vibe. Bikers decked out in leather hang out alongside a prominent lesbian/gay community. Cool NY-style art galleries sit beside witchcraft and body piercing stores. Family ice cream shops sit across from crowded outdoor bars. The streets pulse with life, cars cruise the main road through town, and there is more artwork on people’s bodies than in its art galleries. It is a town on the fringe, accepting of everyone, and the people-watching is GREAT!
Across the river, a short ¼ mile walk over a bridge sits Lambertville. The vibe is very different there. It is more staid and proper. The art galleries, stores and restaurants are more upscale and tame. There are no bikers, no witchcraft stores or crazy bars, and a lot fewer tattoos and piercings walk the streets. It is, well, more “normal.”
These two towns are a perfect demonstration of what I have been hearing and reading a lot about lately . . . “culture.” I have seen it so many times in the past few weeks that I wonder if it is about to become the latest buzzword. Regardless of whether or not it becomes the next hot jargon term, culture is important to all of us.
I think most of us relate to culture more as a vibe. It is something we sense about a person, family, organization, town, university, company, restaurant . . . anything really. We sense it immediately; within seconds of experiencing it. And it subconsciously determines how we interact with whom or what we are experiencing. Do we want to hang out with that person? Do we like that family? Do we want to go to that school? Do we want to do business with, or work for, that company? Are we going to rave about that new restaurant?
We assess a vibe and like or dislike it immediately, but it takes a very conscious and concerted effort to create . . . or at least it should. Establishing a vibe is vital to your future, whether you are an individual or an organization. It will determine the type of people you attract into your life and the type of customers you have in your business. Yet, too many of us ignore it or leave it up to circumstance, letting it emerge willy-nilly rather than with intent.
What we need to realize is that every action we take, and every belief we hold, adds up to our vibe or culture. They form who we are and how we will be defined. As such, we should be very conscious about our decisions and actions, and think about how they contribute to, or detract from, whom we want to be and how we want to be known in the world.
Sadly, not enough people and companies are consciously creating their vibe or culture. As a result, events and the reactions to them, dictate who they are.
If that is occurring for you or your company, you are letting the “outside world” dictate and define who you are, rather than letting that come from your heart and spirit. And if that is the case, at some point you will most likely find yourself unhappy in your life or business and you will want to change who you have become.
If you don’t run your life, someone else will.
If you are not consciously creating how you want to be seen in the world, then someone, or something, else will do it for you. It is that simple. Do not surrender your power this way. Take time to think about how you, or your company, wants to be known. Then take the necessary actions to create that vibe.
READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.
Can’t think of anyone better who essentially posed this question to all of us. :-)