The Culture - James C. Hunter

The Culture - James C. Hunter

Discover everything you need to know to strengthen relationships between leaders and followers, overcome barriers between positions, and value people.

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If you want to inspire more confidence in your team, develop and improve your leadership, in addition to achieving a culture of excellence in the organization, then the book "The Culture", by author James Hunter, was made for you!

It offers lessons so that you can apply the concepts of leadership by valuing people, strengthening relationships, and transforming the team's work dynamics.

Want to know more? So, continue reading this summary and find out how to become a leader who positively influences the working relationships of those around you!

About the book "The Culture"

The book "The Culture" was written by James Hunter, the same author of the best-selling book "The Servant", which is recognized literature when it comes to leadership.

For a better understanding of the work, we recommend reading the first book, as the story portrays the group's return to the monastery of the order of São Benedito.

In the book in question, in addition to resuming the leadership concepts built in the first meeting, the group discusses the difficulties of implementing the acquired knowledge.

They also talk about Leadership in Practice and seek to develop an idea of community through culture.

About the author James C. Hunter

James Hunter is the chief consultant for J. D. Associates, an American company that works in the Human Resources and Leadership Training consultancy business.

He has over 20 years of experience, and in addition to being a consultant, the author is also a speaker and instructor of functional leadership, aiming to develop this characteristic.

James' books are used in several executive training courses in management (MBAs) and have also been sold in different parts of the world, accumulating over 5 million copies sold.

To whom is this book indicated?

The content covered in the book "The Culture" is highly recommended for those people who want to enhance their personal and professional relationships.

Through an easy, dynamic, and clear reading, the author James Hunter tells the story of a monk, an executive, a pastor, an army sergeant, a college principal, a sports trainer, and a nurse.

Through the members of the story, it is clear that the teachings can be applied in all areas.

Main ideas from the book "The Culture"

In this summary, we will:

  • Explain the concepts of Leadership, Power, and Authority;
  • Explain the difference between Leading and Managing;
  • Define the characteristics of a good leader;
  • Provide tools for you to apply leadership on a daily basis;
  • Define what is Organization, Culture, and Community;
  • Demonstrate the steps of trust between a team.

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[Book Summary] The Culture - James C. Hunter

Overview: Resuming some concepts

Right at the beginning of the book "The Culture", Monk Simeão, who coordinates the meetings, takes up the concepts taught in the group's first retreat.

The first definition of recapitulated was on Leadership. They define it as follows:

"Leadership is the ability to influence people so that they work with enthusiasm to achieve goals identified as aimed at the common good."

In this way, it is clear that a good leader is one who has the ability to influence people. Simeon makes it clear that as a skill, leadership can be developed.

Furthermore, in the Monk's view, there are two ways to influence a person, by power or authority. To be clearer, the group also defines two concepts:

"Power is the freedom to force someone to do what you want, because of your hierarchical position, even if that person didn't want to do what you said."

"Authority is the ability to make a person perform any action motivated by goodwill and due to the leader's personal influence."

According to the group's definitions, authority is also a skill (can be developed).

In this way, a leader who sustains himself by power/position is bound to fail. On the other hand, a leader who has authority over a group will be considered a good leader.

Now comes the question, how to gain authority?

Author James Hunter explains that authority is earned through service and sacrifice. Are you a leader who serves your team and sacrifices for it?

To serve

Serving means knowing how to differentiate what a group needs and wants. In addition, it is necessary to meet the needs mentioned.

Have you been meeting your team's wants or needs? Think about it!

To sacrifice

In the group's view, sacrifice is putting love into action. For them, love is the act of giving your best for others, identifying and meeting your legitimate needs, always aiming for the good of all.

To love is to treat others in the same way that we would like to be treated.

They emphasize agape love, which is expressed through behavior and choice without demanding anything in return.

Have you loved and sacrificed yourself for your team?

Lead or Manage?

See no difference between the two verbs?

In this chapter of the book "The Culture", the author James Hunter brings a quote from Ross Perot, founder of EDS.

"Do you want to manage something? Go to manage your inventory. People don't manage, they lead."

For the group, the difference between them is clear. Management is what we do, Leadership is what we are.

Overview: And in practice, how does it work?

Although the group had these concepts in mind, all members were struggling in life, mainly to apply them in practice. After all, what's the use of knowing if we can't apply it? That was the subject of the second day of the meeting.

In this way, the group began to understand the dynamics of implementing this knowledge.

Right from the start, they defined adjacent concepts about leadership:

"To lead is to find the balance between building relationships and performing tasks."

Thus, as explained by author James Hunter in his book "The Culture", a good leader should:

  1. Serve and meet the needs of the team;
  2. Show gratitude when the time comes (you need to understand that people crave more and more recognition);
  3. Know how to charge and be rigorous when necessary.

Method 3Fs

In order to put everything they learned into practice, the group came to the conclusion that using the 3Fs Method would be the best way to achieve the long-awaited change in their teams.

For that, it is necessary:

  1. Establish Fundamentals. The leader must establish the standards, rules, and conduct of a team. It is necessary to make clear what is and is not allowed and what are the expected results of each team member;
  2. Promote Feedback. The leader must provide feedback if there is performance different from the established standards, that is, if someone is performing above or below the determined level, feedback is required. If the performance is higher, it is appreciation feedback, if it is bad, training is needed to enable the member to reach the expected standard;
  3. Eliminate Friction. In addition to training, the leader must provide the necessary tools to eliminate the difficulties/gaps of those who are performing below the stipulated goal.

Also to eliminate frictions, the group brings the exercise of 3 Es, which are:

  1. Establish the income gap;
  2. Explore the reasons for this gap;
  3. Eliminate the lag.

But remember, everything must be established on facts.

Characteristics of Great Leaders

"There is a big difference between being involved and committing to something."

This sentence exemplifies well the concept that the group developed. In their view, great leaders are committed to excellence and always seek continuous improvement. The search for excellence motivates people and that is why mediocrities should not be allowed in any team.

In addition, the group mentions that outstanding leaders are humble:

"Humility is not having a negative opinion of yourself. It is thinking less about yourself."

According to author James Hunter, humility is being receptive to learning and seeking to know if the needs of others are being met.

In the same line of reasoning, meeting the team's needs is serving. Serving, in turn, is one of the main characteristics for building authority and leading a team.

Are you committed to your team? And how is your humility? Did you realize the importance of these items to be a successful leader?

In addition, the group also emphasizes the importance of being a person of character in building an ideal leader. They emphasize Dwight Moody's phrase to exemplify such a characteristic:

"Character is what you are in the dark when no one is looking."

In their view, the character is the courage to do what is right and that inspires confidence and excellence for the team.

Overview: The different stages in team building

So far we have seen the importance of being a good leader. Did you know that excellent organizations, in addition to having great leadership, also have a great culture?

In this overview, we will see how to create a community of excellence, which directly influences an organization's culture.

But, after all, what is an organization, culture, and community in the group's view?

According to the book "The Culture", in order to create a community, you go through four stages, which are:

  1. Pretending: at this stage, the group pretends to be united. There are no differences of opinion or ideas, people generally avoid talking too much to prevent conflict and, when they speak, they are about general matters;
  2. Friction or storm: at this stage, the group already adopts a behavior of discussion. People tend to be selfish because each person wants to impose his truth. The "masks" built in the first stage fall and here it is common to blame the leader for all the differences that arise;
  3. Formation: after the dark times, people strive to be members of a team. In this scenario, members already understand and respect differences. Here it is clear to everyone that being part of a problematic team is to be a problem for common goals;
  4. Functioning: teams that reach this stage understand that the team is more important than the individual. The phrase of NBA coach Phil Jackson exemplifies the functioning of teams that reach the last level:

"Creating a successful team requires that the individuals involved give up personal interest in favor of the common good so that the whole is more than the sum of the parts."

What stage is your team at? With the concepts learned in this work, it is possible to reach the stage of the functioning of a community.

Are you prepared?

What do other authors say about it?

For John C. Maxwell, author of "Leadership Gold", the best leaders are those who know how to listen. Listeners know what's going on because they are attentive.

They learn better than others because they absorb ideas from different places. In addition, good listeners have the ability to see other people's strengths and weaknesses better.

Ed Catmull, the author of the book "Creativity Inc.", advises: always give more preference to people than to ideas, because creative people create good ideas, but good ideas can be destroyed by bad teams.

Finally, in "Good To Great", the author Jim Collins explains how applying the culture of discipline in a company can leverage the results, disseminating this practice to all employees, which are essential for the success of an organization.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Be a leader who takes responsibility for the success and safety of the group;
  • It values the culture of excellence;
  • Be open with your team;
  • Do what is right;
  • Silence is worth gold, listen to your team;
  • Lead by the authority. Set an example, love your team, and sacrifice yourself for it;
  • Set goals and guidelines;
  • Give feedback and Training to your team;
  • Do not give up. The road is long, but the results arrive.

Did you like this summary of the book "The Culture"?

We hope you enjoyed our summary and are able to develop your leadership by following the advice of author James Hunter. Leave your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important to us!

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Book 'The Culture'